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Satellite connectivity on Android phones is about to go far and wide
- Qualcomm’s satellite connectivity tech is coming to phones from Motorola, Nothing, Oppo, and other Android manufacturers.
- All future Qualcomm 5G modems and Snapdragon processors will support the tech.
Qualcomm has finally revealed the names of all the smartphone manufacturers launching new Android phones equipped with its Snapdragon Satellite platform. On the sidelines of MWC 2023, Qualcomm announced that next-generation phones from Motorola, Nothing, Honor, Oppo, Vivo, and Xiaomi would enable two-way messaging via satellite connectivity.
Moreover, the company also said that it’s expanding the availability of Snapdragon Satellite across its entire upcoming processor range, from the Snapdragon 8 series all the way down to the Snapdragon 4 series. Simply put, this means that satellite connectivity will soon be available on Android phones across mid-range, high-end, and premium categories.
Expect Snapdragon Satellite-enabled Android phones to start popping up later this year.
“By incorporating Snapdragon Satellite into next-generation devices, our partners will be able to offer satellite messaging capabilities thanks to a mature and commercially available global LEO constellation, which can allow subscribers around the world to communicate outdoors with emergency service providers, as well as family and friends,” Qualcomm wrote in a press release.
What is Snapdragon Satellite?
Qualcomm announced Snapdragon Satellite back in January. Unlike Apple’s Emergency SOS via Satellite, which only lets users send emergency messages, Android phones supporting Qualcomm’s tech can achieve two-way messaging communication by connecting to Iridium’s 66 low-orbit satellites spread across the globe. For now, the solution is based on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 platform and its integrated X70 modem, but Qualcomm says all its future 5G modems will support the service.
You can expect Snapdragon Satellite-enabled Android phones to start popping up in the second half of the year. However, satellite connectivity will be limited to capable devices in North America and Europe.
The first Android phone with two-way satellite connectivity
While Qualcomm is only now announcing partners for Snapdragon Satellite, Motorola and Bullitt Group have already launched the first Android smartphone with two-way satellite messaging built-in.
The Motorola Defy 2 comes equipped with MediaTek’s satellite connectivity tech and Bullitt’s satellite messaging service. Motorola also has a compact satellite link device that gives any Android or iOS device satellite connectivity.