Qualcomm announced A new solution called Snapdragon Satellite is coming to its flagship Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 mobile platform which will be available on premium phones later this year. With Snapdragon Satellite, OEMs and service providers will be able to offer “truly global coverage” using Iridium’s weatherproof L-band spectrum.
Data you can send via satellites won’t include the full data bandwidth you’re used to sending over general cellular networks, instead, Snapdragon Satellite will enable emergency SMS and other messaging applications. You shouldn’t expect it on your mid-range phone either, Qualcomm says it’s coming to premium devices first, in select regions.
“Strong and reliable connectivity is at the heart of premium experiences. Snapdragon Satellite showcases our history of leadership in providing global satellite communications and our ability to bring great innovations to mobile devices at scale,” said Durga Maladi, senior vice president and general manager, modems and cellular infrastructure, Qualcomm Technologies , Inc. “On its way to premium smartphones later this year, this new addition to our Snapdragon platform positions us strongly to enable satellite communications capabilities and service offerings across multiple device categories.”
While the hardware will come to high-end phones first, Qualcomm has expressed that Snapdragon Satellite could expand to other devices including laptops, tablets, vehicles and IoT. The company said that OEMs and app developers will eventually be able to launch branded services that use satellite connectivity, but again, that will be further down the road by the sounds of it. What’s more, Qualcomm says Snapdragon Satellite will support 5G Non-Terrestrial Networks (NTN) as the constellations become more available.