Technology

Android smartphones will soon be able to send and receive message over satellite connection


SAN FRANCISCO, Jan 7 ― Like the latest generation of iPhones, several high-end Android smartphones to be released this year will have the ability to send messages ― emergency or otherwise ― via a satellite connection, no matter where they are in the world.

In the fall of 2022, the iPhone 14 introduced satellite connectivity for emergency use only in areas not covered by a cellular network. During the course of 2023, several Android smartphones will be able to do the same, and even a little more.

This will be achieved thanks to a brand-new technology unveiled by Qualcomm, called Snapdragon Satellite, the world’s first satellite solution capable of supporting two-way messaging for smartphones. This offer will be made possible through a partnership with Iridium, which already offers a telephony system based on a fleet of satellites currently operating in low Earth orbit.

Compared to what Apple offers, Qualcomm says that its solution will be resolutely global, with the possibility of accessing satellite connectivity from pole to pole. It should also be fast, promising at most 10 seconds to connect to the nearest satellite. Similarly, this service is not expected to be reserved for emergencies, but for all communication requirements, including contacting friends or relatives, in places where a cellular connection is not available, such as in remote areas or at sea. Finally, this service will guarantee two-way exchanges, i.e., it will be possible to both send and receive SMS messages.

Only upcoming phones featuring the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 Mobile Platform will be able to offer this feature. It remains to be seen exactly which models will be compatible with Snapdragon Satellite. Note that Qualcomm intends to extend this technology to tablets and computers in the future. ― ETX Studio

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