Although 5G is a relatively new connectivity method, and many companies are using it to sell their phones, new connectivity has become popular. Recently, satellite connectivity has become one of the latest trending communication standards. Smartphone companies are doing everything possible to make it available on their devices. Qualcomm recently announced that Snapdragon Satellite would aim to make smartphone satellite connectivity commonplace.
Qualcomm is reportedly partnering with various Android OEMs to make this happen. At the MWC 2023, the company announced that it is joining hands with Motorola, Honor, OPPO, Nothing, Vivi and Xiaomi to make satellite connectivity available on future smartphones. Qualcomm’s vice president of product management, Francesco Grilli, stated that by incorporating Snapdragon Satellite into next-generation devices, the partnering companies would be able to offer satellite messaging capabilities to their customers.
Grilli also notes that satellite communication is possible due to a mature and commercially available LEO constellation that will allow people to communicate with one another in emergencies and when they are in areas where mobile phone reception is weak or unavailable.
The popularity of satellite connectivity came about when Apple launched the capability on their new iPhone 14 series. This method was supposed to be Apple’s solution to emergency situations and give their users a way to send two-way texts in dead zones. Taking this as inspiration, T-Mobile and Starlink are currently working together to allow an extensive range of smartphones to access satellite connectivity.
Samsung is also reportedly bringing satellite connectivity to future Exynos modems. Motorola has also launched a satellite Bluetooth dongle allowing phones powered by the Bullit Group and MediaTek to access satellite connections.
Qualcomm’s answer to Apple’s satellite connectivity is perhaps the most promising. It aims to bring two-way communication to Android phones. This means users can send emergency texts, SMS texting, and other messaging acts when in dead zones. Satellite connectivity will most likely be available on phones powered by the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2. However, the company has clarified that this technology will be expanded to lower-tiered chips using the upcoming 5G Modem-RF systems.
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