Qualcomm phones to incorporate satellite-based messaging features

Qualcomm has 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.

Qualcomm revealed it is working with a group of Android smartphone companies to add satellite-based messaging capabilities to their devices.

The California-based company, which is the world’s biggest supplier of chips that connect mobile phones to wireless data networks, said it is working with Honor, Lenovo-owned Motorola, Nothing, OPPO, Vivo and Xiaomi Corp to develop the devices.

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 CES consumer technology show in January this year. The solution is expected to allow smartphone users to text from remote locations where other telecommunications networks are not available. 

Now, Honor, Motorola, Nothing, Oppo, Vivo and Xiaomi are expected to develop phones that support it. The Samsung Galaxy S23 is also rumoured to support Qualcomm’s Snapdragon satellite technology, but the model was not specified.

“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,” said Qualcomm’s vice-president for product management, Francesco Grilli. 

Qualcomm’s announcement sets the company up to continue competing with Apple, which last year unveiled a new line of iPhones that could send messages through satellite communications. 

Those new phones contain a chip from Qualcomm, although Apple told Reuters that they also contain custom hardware and software that are proprietary to Apple.

Britain is currently the leading non-US manufacturer of satellites, with 47,000 people employed in its space industry and plans to develop multiple potential microlaunch sites, including two vertical launchpads in Scotland.

The government has previously been warned that rural areas that cannot access superfast internet speeds will be left behind the rest of the country if this administration fails to ramp up its broadband infrastructure plans.

In 2020, the UK government bought a stake in failed satellite firm OneWeb satellite, which aims to develop a network of more than 650 LEO satellites designed for internet services.

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Original Source: https://eandt.theiet.org/content/articles/2023/02/qualcomm-phones-to-incorporate-satellite-based-messaging-features/

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