Qualcomm, in partnership with Iridium, is bringing satellite connectivity to smartphones this year

Iridium Communications CEO Jordan Hossein also hinted at speculation about choosing Korean phone maker Samsung as a direct partner. At one point, there were rumors of Iridium’s collaboration with Apple, which in September announced its partnership with Iridium’s competitor Globalstar for SOS-based services.

However, according to Hossein, instead of partnering with a specific smartphone vendor, Iridium chose to work with Qualcomm’s team to bring the technology to different brands of smartphones running the Android operating system; Because the Android operating system is the most popular smartphone operating system.

In addition to supporting hardware development, Qualcomm has agreed with Iridium to sell the service to companies. Qualcomm chipsets are used in brands like Samsung, Motorola and other smartphone brands. To connect to the powerful 66 Iridium constellations, smartphone manufacturers need to integrate the latest generation of Qualcomm chips that are set to change smartphones. According to Hossein:

Multiple Android vendors are integrating Snapdragon Satellite with the first products slated for release in the second half of 2023.

Iridium CEO Matt Dash says it’s not yet clear how smartphone customers will use satellite services or what they’ll pay. Apple has announced that it will provide its satellite SOS services for the iPhone 14 series for free for two years. Also, according to Francesco Gili, vice president of product at Qualcomm Technologies, the company’s Snapdragon satellite design was unveiled at CES on January 4, and they were able to send simple text messages with a smartphone in just an average of three seconds.

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