Satellite connectivity will be available on high-end Android phones later this year thanks to a new cooperation between chip giant, Qualcomm and satellite phone company, Iridium, BBC News reports.
By connecting to passing satellites, devices may send and receive messages in areas without mobile coverage.
Many Android-powered devices use Qualcomm chips as their processor.
Recall that for the iPhone 14 in September 2022, Apple unveiled a satellite feature.
In an emergency, the service is currently only capable of sending and receiving simple text messages.
Bullitt, a British manufacturer of smartphones, beat Apple to the debut of its own satellite service. At launch, it will only be offered in a few locations and is also for emergency usage.
More smartphone users will be able to use the same service as a result of the collaboration, which frees them from brand loyalty, although it will be up to the manufacturer to make it available.
The first satellite for Iridium entered orbit in 1997, making it the first satellite phone service. It finished updating its network of 75 satellites in 2019.
The satellites, which span the entire planet and circle the Earth at a low altitude of 485 miles (780 km), may interact with one another and exchange data.
According to Qualcomm, the new feature, called Snapdragon Satellite, will initially only be included in its premium chips; it is therefore unlikely to be found in low-cost devices.
However, it will soon be made available for use on tablets, computers, and perhaps cars, expanding its use beyond just emergency communication, albeit there may be a charge for this.
The problem of “not-spots,” or places where there is no existing coverage, is addressed via satellite connectivity, which is generally seen as the next step for mobile phones. These are more typical in rural or isolated areas.
By using services like Elon Musk’s Starlink, it has already been effectively implemented to give broadband coverage.
Although more expensive than cable or fiber connections, satellite broadband is quick and generally dependable.
Since the feature is prohibited in some nations, such as India and China, use of it will be governed by local government regulations.