Iridium and Qualcomm will satellite more smartphones in 2014


LAS VEGAS – A Qualcomm vice president Francesco Grilli slips an email onto a semi-transparent smartphone brick. He then raises it into space. He received the text he had just texted on his more traditional phone moments later.

The scene was, quite frankly, boring. But that’s because the interesting part — the satellite that received the text and directed it to a regular phone — was out of sight, about 485 miles up.

The same satellite communication bits were hidden within that brick that will be featured in a new wave of smartphones that will debut in the second half 2023. It won’t get any chunkier than normal. Apple iPhonesIn an interview with The Washington Post Cristiano Amon, CEO of Qualcomm, stated that devices using Qualcomm’s Snapdragon satellite technology will be able send standard text messages via satellite to anyone. This is not only for emergency responders.

He said, “It’s powerful to be able, to say, “No matter where my are, I can send an message while I’m connected,” he said.

This rush into satellite communications—supported by a partnership with Iridium Communications, which operates a constellation of 66 satellites—is not a new concept.

An apple SOS emergency feature via satelliteHe resides in six countries. Partnership between T-Mobile and Elon Musk’s SpaceXIt is expected that it will be realized by AT&T sometime in the next year. Explore the phone-to-satellite connectionWith a costume called AST SpaceMobile.

The advantage to some of these satellite features is that they have built-in audiences — you have to be the owner of the iPhone or pay T-Mobile for your wireless service. Qualcomm and Iridium have a different vision. Any phone maker who purchases the premium chips from the former can pay a little more to connect to the satellites of the latter.

Qualcomm chips are often used in smartphones manufactured by Motorola, Samsung, and others around the world. This means that many people will soon be able unlock Messages from cellular dead areas starting this year.

However, it doesn’t necessarily mean that everyone with a Qualcomm powered phone will try this feature. It will be available only on smartphones with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Generation 2 chipset. This is a higher-powered package that is reserved for more expensive models. Qualcomm hopes to transform satellite connectivity into chips and phones of moderately priced smartphones over time, but Amon didn’t specify when.

Some smartphones that have the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset were among the first to use it. went on saleBefore live broadcast satellite features were developed, many of these devices were used overseas. While the chips in those early devices contain many of the radio components needed to talk to the Iridium satellites, they don’t have all of them — which means they can’t be updated to use the satellite’s features in the future.

In other words, if your goal is to buy a non Apple smartphone and still want to be able connect to it Friends and loved ones: If you’re not in close proximity to a cell tower, it may be a good idea to wait.

However, that wait might be worth it — and that’s mostly due to Iridium. The McLean-based company, which is based in Virginia, has been putting satellites in orbit since the late 90s. Because these satellites are directed about the Earth, it means that you can shoot a message from research base in Antarctica. Indian Ocean and Beyond.

Matthew Desch, Iridium CEO, said that “there isn’t any spot on Earth which doesn’t have coverage.” You can send a message by satellite as long you have a clear view, provided you have the right equipment.

By contrast, Apple’s Emergency SOS via satellite only works in the US, Canada, Britain, France, Germany and Ireland — plus a range of coastal waters around them, if any. Even if your iPhone 14 can be used as a satellite-capable phone, it will only work if the user is physically present in one or more of these countries.

How can satellite communications be used?

Being able to stay connected anywhere in the world with a standard (if expensive) smartphone certainly sounds attractive — but how do you actually use it?

It really depends on the purpose of your call. There are two options if you need to call for help from outside cellular networks. You can either start the SOS process directly from your phone’s lock screen, or call emergency services. (You may find more places on your phone to launch SOS, but Qualcomm makes that decision.

The messages you send will then be routed to a response center in Texas owned by Garmin—yes, a GPS and fitness monitor—where operators will collect information and coordinate with emergency responders. The costs involved are not flat. Qualcomm’s Grilli stated that emergency messaging “won’t be very costly,” if at all.

Personal messages have a slightly different story. When you try to send a text message via satellite, the process is straightforward — type your message and follow the onscreen guide to make sure your phone is pointing to a satellite. Desch, Iridium CEO says that each satellite orbits in about 100 minutes. Once it is completed, it should take no more than eight to twelve minutes before one enters range.

However, these messages will almost certainly come at a cost to you. It’s not yet known how much. This is another decision Qualcomm will make to device manufacturers, as well any messaging services (like WhatsApp and Telegram), that want to embrace satellite communication.

It is not clear how customers will be allowed to choose between satellite services if they have more than one phone.

Iridium and Qualcomm are looking at the next step, making sure satellite communication isn’t limited to our smartphones.

Amon stated, “We spoke about phones, but it’s no reason why you can’t have a laptop.” He then turned his attention to a different product category. “Think of being able to alert that an airbag has been deployed, being able to call emergency services, or being able to remotely unlock your car.”

At this moment, it’s not clear if Qualcomm and Iridium have been courting Dells or General Motors of all countries. However, the wait to bridge the gap between satellites and other products that we depend on every single day could be shorter than expected.

“I believe it’s not unrealistic for us to think that we might have the chance to get other species by next-year.” [supported]Amon stated. “We are working on that.”

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