Qualcomm introduces new Snapdragon Satellite for 2-way emergency messaging

Qualcomm introduces new Snapdragon Satellite for 2-way emergency messaging
Qualcomm just announced at CES 2023 a new satellite-based, two-way messaging solution, called "Snapdragon Satellite." This product will offer off-the-grid global coverage for emergency uses, similar to Apple's current satellite messaging solution.

Snapdragon Satellite will provide global messaging connectivity on Android smartphones carrying the flagship Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 Mobile Platform. It is powered by Snapdragon 5G Modem-RF Systems and supported by the fully operational Iridium satellite constellation. This technology will let OEMs and other service providers offer truly global coverage.

The ability to send and receive urgent messages via Snapdragon Satellite is slated to become standard on next-generation smartphones, and will launch in select regions beginning in the second half of 2023. This also includes SMS texting and other messaging applications.

Durga Malladi, Senior VP and General Manager of Cellular Modems and Infrastructure at Qualcomm, was quoted as saying:

In addition to mobile phones, the Snapdragon Satellite platform is also adaptable to other devices such as laptops, tablets, vehicles, and the internet of things. As the Snapdragon Satellite ecosystem expands, OEMs and app developers will have the ability to differentiate their products and provide distinctive branded services that take advantage of satellite connectivity. It is anticipated that Snapdragon Satellite will support 5G Non-Terrestrial Networks (NTN) once the necessary infrastructure is put in place.

This announcement comes on the heels of Apple unveiling its Emergency SOS feature last year, which lets you text emergency services from an iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro when you’re not within cellular or Wi-Fi range. Qualcomm’s solution will allow Android devices to have the same capabilities.

It was not included in the announcement whether this service will be free, such as Apple’s will be for the first two years. However, as this isn’t expected until the second half of the year, we expect that more details and updates will follow as we get closer to the launch date.

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