back to article Qualcomm, Bullitt unveil satellite messaging for phones at CES

Satellite messaging via mobile phone appears to be the in-thing at this year's CES show in Las Vegas, with the launch of two services from comms chipmaker Qualcomm and UK-based smartphone company Bullitt Group. Qualcomm's Snapdragon Satellite offering is set to offer two-way messaging for smartphones based on its Snapdragon 8 …

  1. James O'Shea


    I was under the impression that Apple already had something similar _operational_.

    1. Roj Blake Silver badge

      Re: Hmm

      Probably why the article says...

      "The new services follow Apple's introduction of satellite support for emergency calls last year. The iPhone 14 incorporates a new Emergency SOS feature that can use a satellite line when no cellular service is available."

      1. James O'Shea

        Re: Hmm

        Usually when Apple is second to market with something there's a snarky subhead about it. I find it interesting that when Apple is first to market, mention is buried in the second or third paragraph of the story. And pointing this out gets downvotes.

        1. zuckzuckgo

          Re: Hmm

          Are you really complaining that Apple does not get enough press coverage or credit when they introduce new iPhone or features?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Hmm

            Needs more obscure songs with catchy beats, black and white promos and bearded hipsters dancing in the street while wearing expensive brand fashion.

          2. James O'Shea

            Re: Hmm

            nope. just pointing out the local biases. And, as expected, collecting downvotes. The anti-Apple crowd are quite predictable.

        2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Hmm

          The downvotes were for not realising that the the article DID mention that Apple already have a system in operation. El Reg did an article about at the time, so it's no longer headline news.

  2. DS999 Silver badge

    Qualcomm's solution requires their highest end SoC with highest end modem

    So 95% of the Android market will be cut off from it. Either Iridium doesn't have the capacity to handle the load if Qualcomm included this in more mainstream offerings, or they want it to remain a premium offering. i.e. if it is restricted to only high end Android devices, maybe they get sold the ability to send non-emergency text messages at premium prices since they know everyone with the satellite capability has money to spend.

  3. sgp

    These subscription costs are below Garmin Inreach or Spot. But I suppose the crowds for those won't switch to fragile smartphones.

    1. myithingwontcharge

      "These subscription costs are below Garmin Inreach or Spot. But I suppose the crowds for those won't switch to fragile smartphones"

      The problem with a subscription for this sort of thing is that it's a service only for emergencies. I cant imagine many average people (obvious edge cases such as explorers and remote populations excepted) paying £/€/$60/year for the ability to send a 999/112 text, just in case they have the extremly rare event of an accident and no coverage from any network. Then for those that don't, there's the possibility of bad publicity when it turns out your brand of phone didn't allow emergency access when it could have done. I'm not sure that's even legal.

      Frankly they'd probably make more money by charging several £/$/€ per message and allowing texts to anyone. At least then many users would spend some money once in a while just to see if it works.

      Though I suspect they technically can't, as the return channel for any replies would be just as expensive.

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