Qualcomm-Iridium Agreement to Provide Satellite Connectivity for Phones Fails?


Iridium, a provider of satellite-to-phone services, stated on Thursday that it has severed ties with Qualcomm, a major player in the US semiconductor industry, to deliver satellite-to-phone services. Following hours of trading, Iridium shares dropped more than 8% from their closing price of $37.14 per share. The parties successfully developed and demonstrated the technology as per the business, but smartphone manufacturers have not included the technology in their devices, which is why Qualcomm terminated the agreement. The two firms unveiled the Snapdragon Satellite platform in January with the goal of enabling high-end handsets to support emergency messaging and satellite-based SMS.

The makers of smartphones, including Xiaomi, OPPO, Vivo, Motorola, Honor, and Nothing, have officially committed to developing devices that support satellite communication. However, Qualcomm was forced to end the deal, effective December 3, due to the lack of interest from smartphone makers, despite successful technical development and demonstrations (via- PCMag). Using Qualcomm’s Snapdragon technology with Iridium’s L-band spectrum for both uplink and downlink, the direct-to-device (D2D) service was intended to provide two-way communications.

Snapdragon 8 Gen 3: Qualcomm’s New Flagship SoC Is a Powerhouse for AI

Android phone satellite connection is severely harmed by the partnership’s dissolution. On the other hand, Apple has started including satellite-based emergency messages with the most recent iPhone models. A cellular satellite service is also being attempted by SpaceX, subject to FCC permission, in addition to Iridium. The solution would enable satellite access for unmodified T-Mobile phones via the company’s Starlink constellation. In the meantime, AT&T is working to make a comparable service available, but through AST SpaceMobile, a recently published satellite operator.

Iridium, meanwhile, is still upbeat about satellite connectivity’s prospects in the phone industry. For remote connectivity using its own services and products, the corporation already manages a low network of 66 low-Earth orbiting satellites. Iridium hopes to use a different strategy to bring satellite connectivity to Android phones. With the partnership ending, Iridium is free to pursue other partnerships with smartphone OEMs, chip makers, and operating system developers.

CEO of Iridium, Matt Desch, stated,While I’m disappointed that this partnership didn’t bear immediate fruit, we believe the direction of the industry is clear toward increased satellite connectivity in consumer devices.”

Don’t miss our latest news on Samsung technology. Follow SamLover.com on your favorite social media platforms for instant notifications.