After iPhone 14, Android phones will soon support satellite messaging, starting with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip

After iPhone 14, Android phones will soon support satellite messaging, starting with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip
Representational imageQualcomm
  • Qualcomm has announced Snapdragon Satellite, which offers access to two-way satellite messaging.
  • The feature will be available in premium devices, starting with Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 smartphones.
  • The feature will be available sometime in the second half of 2023.
The Consumer Electronics Shows (CES) 2023 is here and American chipmaker Qualcomm has unveiled the Snapdragon Satellite, which will enable two-way satellite communication, allowing you to contact emergency services even when you do not have an internet connection.

This is similar to Apple’s Emergency SOS feature that uses satellite connectivity to send your SOS to emergency services. However, the main difference between Apple’s and Qualcomm’s solution is that the Snapdragon Satellite allows for two-way communication. Qualcomm has claimed that it is the world’s first satellite-based solution that supports two-way communication.

“Kicking off in premium smartphones later this year, this new addition to our Snapdragon platform strongly positions us to enable satellite communication capabilities and service offerings across multiple device categories,” said Durga Malladi, senior vice president and general manager, cellular modems and infrastructure, Qualcomm.

Snapdragon Satellite – brings satellite messaging to Android

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Snapdragon Satellite is one of the major announcements by the company. It is a satellite-based solution that offers two-way messaging. It is currently limited to premium smartphones and will be available starting with devices running on the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset. The recently launched OnePlus 11 5G and the upcoming Galaxy S23 series are among the devices that will feature this chipset.

Snapdragon Satellite will offer two-way messaging and is claimed to offer global connectivity. The company is using the Iridium satellite constellation, using the company’s weather-resilient L- band spectrum for uplink and downlink.


The company has said that this technology will eventually be available in other devices such as vehicles, laptops, tablets, and more.

Limited to selected regions

The emergency messaging service will reportedly be available only in selected regions starting in the second half of 2023. This is similar to Apple’s recently launched Emergency SOS via Satellite feature, which is available in limited regions only.

Currently, there is no information about which regions will have this feature. We should know more about this when smartphones equipped with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 are launched in the coming months.

Regional limitation may not be due to satellites

Iridium’s satellites cover every part of the globe, as per the company’s chief executive officer. The limitation on regions may not be due to a lack of satellite coverage.

“Our advanced, LEO satellites cover every part of the globe and support the lower-power, low-latency connections ideal for the satellite-powered services enabled by the industry-leading Snapdragon Satellite,” said Matt Desch, chief executive officer, Iridium.

Garmin collaborates with Qualcomm

Tech giant Garmin, whose inReach Mini is a popular SOS device, has partnered with Qualcomm to enable the satellite emergency response services for smartphones. The company already offers multiple devices that offer emergency response services and respond to thousands of requests yearly.

“Garmin welcomes the opportunity to expand our proven satellite emergency response services to millions of new smartphone users globally,” said Brad Trenkle, vice president, Garmin outdoor segment.


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