Several high-end Android smartphones set to be released this year, like the latest generation of iPhones, will be able to send messages – emergency or otherwise – via satellite connection, no matter where they are in the world.
The iPhone 14 introduced satellite connectivity in the fall of 2022, but only for emergency use in areas not covered by a cellular network. Several Android smartphones will be able to do the same, if not a little more, by 2023.
This will be possible thanks to Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon Satellite technology, the world’s first satellite solution capable of supporting two-way messaging for smartphones. This offer will be made possible through a collaboration with Iridium, which already provides a telephony system based on a fleet of satellites in low Earth orbit.
In comparison to Apple, Qualcomm claims that its solution will be truly global, with access to satellite connectivity from pole to pole. It should also be quick, with a connection time of no more than 10 seconds to the nearest satellite.
Similarly, this service is not expected to be reserved for emergencies, but for all communication needs, such as contacting friends or relatives when a cellular connection is unavailable, such as in remote areas or at sea.
Finally, this service will support two-way communication, allowing users to send and receive SMS messages.
This feature will be available only on upcoming phones that use the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 Mobile Platform. It is unclear which models will be compatible with Snapdragon Satellite. It’s worth noting that Qualcomm plans to expand this technology to tablets and computers in the future.