Satcom provider Iridium Communications in January announced an agreement with semiconductor manufacturer Qualcomm Technologies that will allow Android users with the requisite hardware to access messaging and emergency services directly from Iridium’s satellites. The value of the deal was not disclosed.
Bryan Hartin, executive vice president at McLean, Va.-based Iridium, joins Connectivity Business News’ podcast, “The Dish,” to discuss the deal and the future of direct-to-device satellite connectivity.
“When it came to direct-to-device, we really knew that, in order to be successful, we would have to fit into the existing form factor of a smartphone,” Hartin said. “That was one of the differentiators for us to get into this market.”
Iridium satcom service will be available on some Android devices later this year.
Mobile carriers have been working to secure more direct-to-satellite connectivity for users over the past year. In September 2022, Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) announced a partnership with satcom provider Globalstar (NYSE: GSAT) for emergency SOS via satellite on new iPhones, and in August 2022 T-Mobile (NASDAQ: TMUS) announced a partnership with SpaceX for high-speed connectivity via Starlink in dead zones.
Tune into “The Dish” to learn more about the Qualcomm deal and how Iridium is approaching direct-to-device connectivity.