Snapdragon Satellite not happening after Qualcomm and Iridium end partnership

Yordan, 10 November 2023

Satellite messaging and connectivity was a major feature introduced with the iPhone 14 devices, and some Android phones followed suit. Qualcomm was expected to join with Snapdragon Satellite, but apparently that's getting pushed back now.

The chipset maker and satellite communications company Iridium announced they are ending their deal to provide satellite-to-phone services. According to an Iridium press release, parties successfully developed and demonstrated the technology, but smartphone makers decided not to include it in their devices, leading Qualcomm to end the agreement.

Snapdragon Satellite not happening after Qualcomm and Iridium end partnership

The split doesn't necessarily mean satellite connectivity is not happening. Iridium CEO said the industry is going forward with implementing tech in consumer devices. Companies like SpaceX, AT&T, and T-Mobile are already working on similar projects; for example, T-Mo users will be able to send messages from unreachable places through SpaceX's Starlink satellites.

Qualcomm said in a statement that smartphone companies will continue to use standard-based solutions. This means the phone will keep connecting to a cell phone tower, which is then connected to a base station, which in turn gets the signal from a high-orbit satellite.

Snapdragon Satellite not happening after Qualcomm and Iridium end partnership

Qualcomm launched the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 with the ability to connect to satellites, provided smartphone makers added the needed antenna hardware. Snapdragon Satellite was supposed to launch in the second half of this year, but with the deal discontinuation it's certainly not happening.

The San Diego company will keep working with Iridium on developing current solutions, while the decision also opens the door for the sat-com company to work directly with makers.



Reader comments

  • Mik3
  • 02 Dec 2023
  • Mrm

Come off, any flat earther knows that the satellite com is but an extra terrestrial network with a few balloons here or there. That means you should not put your money on satellite anything. Please do not argue with me. Thank you me for I am giving y...

A big question is, how many of you are ready to pay a monthly subscription for it? Now you understand. Now you're ready to skip this topic for few years.

Samsung could implement the same technology in their own, the article stated that some telcos tapped Starlink for this feature. This feature in Android is not necessarily dead for now, but could be implemented without Iridium.

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