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Cell Phone Manufacturers Honor, Motorola, and Others Sign On for Qualcomm Satellite Chip

By Mark Holmes | February 27, 2023

A visualization of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Satellite messaging. Screenshot via Qualcomm.

Qualcomm Technologies is teaming up with Honor, Motorola, Nothing, OPPO, vivo and Xiaomi to develop smartphones with satellite communication capabilities using its Snapdragon Satellite processor. Qualcomm made the announcement, Feb. 27 at the start of Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona.

Snapdragon Satellite is a satellite-based two-way capable messaging solution for smartphones. It offers global coverage from pole to pole and can support two-way messaging for emergency use, SMS texting, and other messaging applications – for a variety of purposes such as emergencies or recreation in remote, rural and offshore locations. The solution is supported by the Iridium satellite constellation, which enables low-power, low-latency satellite connections utilizing L-band spectrum.

Snapdragon Satellite will be available across all upcoming 5G Modem-RF systems and Snapdragon Mobile Platform tiers (from 8- to 4- tier) as the ecosystem matures. Beyond smartphones, Snapdragon Satellite is set to expand to other device categories in compute, automotive and IoT segments. As the ecosystem grows, OEMs and app developers will be able to differentiate and offer unique branded services taking advantage of satellite connectivity.

“Our long-standing relationships with Honor, Motorola, Nothing, OPPO, vivo and Xiaomi are rooted in innovations and delivering exceptional connectivity experiences to consumers. 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,” Francesco Grilli, vice president of product management, Qualcomm Technologies, said in a statement.