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Qualcomm to Integrate Satellite and Cell Phones

Article Comments  15  

Sep 22, 2008, 10:21 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

Today Qualcomm announced that it will begin building new chips that will allow for combined cellular/satellite phones. Qualcomm struck an agreement with satellite providers Mobile Satellite Ventures and ICO Global Communications. It will incorporate their technology into new baseband chips for use in cell phones so that phones can use both cellular networks and satellite networks for voice services. The chips will be ready for manufacturers to incorporate into phones beginning in 2010. Qualcomm and partners hope that they can achieve economies of scale so that the new chips can be be used in mass market handsets.



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Sep 22, 2008, 11:55 AM

Currently, satellite is too expensive.

They will have to bring down the price of Satellite to the same rates as regular cellular providers before they can expect it to integrate among consumers.

From Wikipedia:

"The cost of making calls from a satellite phone varies from around $0.15 to $2 per minute, while calling them from landlines and regular mobile phones is extremely expensive. Rates from landlines and mobile phones range from $3 to $14 per minute with Iridium and INMARSAT being some of the most expensive networks to call. The receiver of the call pays nothing, unless they are being called via a special reverse-charge service. Making calls between different satellite phone networks is also notoriously expensive with calling rates of up to $15 per minute.

Calls fro...
I suspect the cost will come down. As you say it will need to. who could afford it?
That's what they mean by "economies of scale".
Actually, the satellite service rates has come down in cost over the last 5+10 years. The Iridium rates are far lower than most other sat providers. And lower than most mobile company's rates that roam. Iridium calling another Iridium sat phone is UD$...

Sep 23, 2008, 8:40 AM

2010 Satellite Oddity

With the lack of current handset and infrastructure investments that ICO and MSV have made to date, the chipset is the least of the problems in their Go To Market plans.

Ask them when service will be available? not Q*

My bet 2012............ 😢

Sep 22, 2008, 12:11 PM

this should be awesome.

Me and my family are planning a family reunion at our home planet of mars within the next couple of years. This should enhance the coverage area greatly! 😳

Sep 22, 2008, 8:12 PM

another qualcomm hype.....

i don't know who to blame in the video driver thing on phones which promised to be great with qualcomm chips but i hope this one to be good and not just overhyped again.

Sep 22, 2008, 3:12 PM

Too bad MSV does not do real voice services

It's too bad Mobile Satellite Ventures does not now and will not soon do voice services the way you're thinking of. Best they can do is store-and-forward Push-To-Talk and medium-speed data.

Sep 22, 2008, 11:29 AM

Should Be A Boon To Rural Customers

Especially if they can get the cost down.
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