Qualcomm announced at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) that multiple phone makers, including Xiaomi, Oppo, Vivo, Motorola, Nothing and Honor, are bringing satellite communication capabilities to their phones. However, manufacturers didn’t provide details about what devices will first have these features and when the companies would launch them.
Qualcomm unveiled its Snapdragon Satellite tech in partnership with satellite service provider Iridium at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) last month. Using this solution, smartphones can have capabilities of two-way texting and other messaging applications using satellites in emergency situations.
The chipmaker said that Snapdragon Satellite will be available across upcoming RF modems and multiple models of 8 and 4 series processors for smartphones.
“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 vice president for product management, Francesco Grilli said in a statement.
Last year, Apple introduced satellite-based emergency communication features with the iPhone 14 series — first in the U.S. and Canada, and later in France, Germany, Ireland and the U.K. through Globestar’s satellite network. Last week, Samsung announced its own satellite tech as well with a promise to embed it in a future smartphone.
What’s more, British smartphone maker Bullitt — which also announced its own satellite tech at CES — announced a rugged smartphone with satellite connectivity a few days ahead of MWC. Taiwanese chipmaker MediaTek is also set to showcase its satellite connectivity solution for smartphones at the event. This sets the groundwork for upcoming smartphones to have emergency satellite communication features for remote areas where network connectivity is not reliable.