Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Satellite will allow Android phones to send emergency SMS


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  • Snapdragon Satellite will bring emergency SMS to Android.
  • Devices with Qualcomm’s X70 modem in the future will support the feature.
  • Snapdragon Satellite will take on Apple’s Satellite Messaging.

Remember how Apple made headlines when it showcased its Satellite messaging feature last year? Well, that tech is going to soon come to Android phones with more possibilities.

Qualcomm at CES announced the Snapdragon Satellite feature for Android devices that will make them ready for satellite messaging. Interestingly and unlike Apple, satellite messaging on Android will be available for both use cases – emergency and non-emergency.

Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Satellite will take on Apple’s Satellite messaging feature

Qualcomm on Thursday (January 5) showcased the demo of the Snapdragon Satellite technology that will allow Android users to send emergency SMS via Satellite networks. As you’d expect, the feature will be useful when you don’t have cellular connectivity around you.

What’s interesting about Snapdragon Satellite is one can use it for emergency messaging and also for non-emergency messaging. However, the cost for non-emergency messaging could be higher but there are no deets on the same for now. It will definitely be costlier than a normal SMS though.

It is to be noted that Snapdragon Satellite won’t support calls, but rather only text messages. Qualcomm has partnered with Garmin for emergency use cases of satellite messaging. Garmin already has its own satellite communication devices under the inReach brand. That could mean that the emergency messages will be routed over to the same team that handles SOS for Garmin’s inReach.

Snapdragon Satellite will work on phones with Qualcomm’s X70 modem but that doesn’t mean all phones with the X70 modem will support the feature.

Qualcomm said that along with the X70 modem, it requires other hardware (unknown) to make the technology work. And, the company also cleared that phones launching before the second half of this year, i.e. in H1 don’t have this necessary hardware.

That said, don’t expect the feature to be available on any phones anytime before H2 of 2023. Although it’s not revealed yet, we expect flagship phones to support this technology, at least initially.


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