Iridium Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: IRDM) today announced it has entered into an agreement with Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. to enable satellite messaging and emergency services in smartphones powered by Snapdragon® Mobile Platforms. Qualcomm Technologies’ new Snapdragon ® Satellite solution is supported by the fully operational Iridium® satellite constellation. Emergency messaging using Snapdragon Satellite is expected to debut starting in the second half of 2023 in premium Android smartphones launched in select regions.
As opposed to selecting a single smartphone manufacturer, Iridium’s collaboration with Qualcomm Technologies is aimed to support satellite services into a variety of smartphone brands and has the potential to expand to other consumer devices in the future.
“While some have been expecting we would be integrating our system into a specific smartphone, what we’ve done is so much bigger,” said Matt Desch, CEO, Iridium. “Working with a mobile technology leader such as Qualcomm Technologies and their powerful Snapdragon platforms allows Iridium to serve the smartphone industry horizontally – and offers us an opportunity to enable other consumer and vehicular applications in the future. This supports our larger vision of connecting people and things on the move, anywhere!”
Beyond smartphones, Iridium® satellite connections can enable similar applications for vehicles, and other personal consumer and IoT devices.
“Qualcomm Technologies is rooted in a vision for engineering human progress and pushing the boundaries of what is possible with premium smartphones and the next generation of connected smart devices across industries.” said Durga Malladi, senior vice president and general manager, cellular modems and infrastructure, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. “Snapdragon Satellite is another step in achieving our vision, enabling OEMs and other service providers with global coverage and satellite messaging capabilities.”
With approximately 85% of the world surface without cellular coverage, Snapdragon Satellite-equipped smartphones will be capable of accessing global coverage, sending emergency messages and texting with friends and family from anywhere on the planet with a view of open sky.
Iridium operates the world’s only truly global, weather-resilient satellite constellation, ensuring users can stay connected in even the most inclement environments. The company goes to market through an ecosystem of more than 450 partners that build Iridium Connected® products and provide service to approximately two million customers around the world.