Iridium Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: IRDM) announced today that 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 functional Iridium® satellite constellation. Emergency messaging with Snapdragon Satellite is expected to roll out in premium Android smartphones launching in select regions in the second half of 2023.
As opposed to selecting a single smartphone manufacturer, Iridium’s collaboration with Qualcomm Technologies aims to support satellite services for a variety of smartphone brands and has the potential to be expanded to other consumer devices in the future.
“While some expected us to integrate our system into a specific smartphone, what we’ve done is so much bigger,” said Matt Desch, CEO of Iridium. “Working with a leader in mobile technology like Qualcomm Technologies and its powerful Snapdragon platforms allows Iridium to serve the smartphone industry horizontally – and gives us the opportunity to enable other consumer and vehicle applications in the future. This supports our broader vision of connecting people and things in motion, everywhere!”
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 to evolve human progress and push the boundaries of what’s 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 realizing our vision of bringing global coverage and satellite messaging capabilities to OEMs and other service providers.”
With about 85% of the world’s surface left without cellular coverage, smartphones equipped with Snapdragon satellites can access global coverage, send emergency messages, and text with friends and family from anywhere in the world with a view of the open skies.
Iridium operates the world’s only truly global, weather-resistant satellite constellation, ensuring users can stay connected in even the harshest environments. The company goes to market through an ecosystem of more than 450 partners who develop Iridium Connected® products and provide services to approximately two million customers around the world.