Qualcomm and Iridium ended their cooperation after only 9 months and abandoned the Snapdragon Satellite project.
In early February 2023, Qualcomm and Iridium cooperated to release Snapdragon Satellite, a satellite messaging service expected to be available on some smartphones using the company’s Snapdragon chip. However, recently both companies ended their partnership.
Accordingly, Qualcomm and Iridium announced that they would terminate their agreement to provide phone satellite services. According to a press release from Iridium, the two developed and demonstrated the technology. Still, Android manufacturers decided not to include the service in their devices, leading to Qualcomm terminating the partnership agreement. and they have also stopped the Snapdragon Satellite project.
But the end of the project doesn’t mean this connectivity won’t happen. Iridium executives describe the industry’s evolution and how the technology is being implemented into consumer devices. Several companies are actively working to ensure satellite connectivity becomes the norm at some point in the future.
Qualcomm also made a statement about how after Snapdragon Satellite is retired, phones will start using a standards-based solution – which involves the phone connecting to a cell phone tower, then connecting to the base station and receiving signals from satellites.
Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 is the first chip to support Snapdragon Satellite and this feature is expected to be widespread in the second half of this year. However, because the agreement with Iridium is no longer in effect, users will have to wait longer for satellite communications.