Google’s Pixel 9 Targets First Android Satellite Messaging With Emergency SOS

Key Takeaways:

– Google is reportedly working to incorporate satellite messaging, starting with Pixel 9.
– Qualcomm’s Snapdragon chips will be replaced by Samsung’s Exynos Modem 5400 in the Pixel 9 to support satellite SMS.
– The phone will likely operate using T-Mobile’s network as the initial service provider.

Despite the introduction of satellite messaging by Apple’s iPhone 14, Android counterparts have been radio silent on the matter. However, Google is rising to the challenge and looking to launch the feature with its upcoming Pixel 9, as per trusted leaker Kamila Wojciechowska of Android Authority.

Breaking Barriers with Pixel 9

As Android manufacturers lagged in embracing the concept of satellite messaging, the partnership between Qualcomm and satellite firm Iridium ended due to lack of support. Their ground-breaking work on Snapdragon chips offering satellite messaging became unutilized. Ever since Pixel 6, Google shifted from Qualcomm modems, and if they want an Android satellite SMS phone, it seems they will have to make it themselves.

The Insider Scoop on Satellite SOS

As per Wojciechowska, Google is doing exactly that, integrating satellite messaging into the Pixel 9, offering emergency satellite SOS. The Pixel line shifted to using Samsung’s modems after parting ways with Qualcomm. Citing an undisclosed source, Wojciechowska revealed that the Pixel 9 would utilize the newly developed Exynos Modem 5400, bolstered with NTN (non-terrestrial network) capabilities. This means Pixel 9 would arrive equipped to be the pioneer in supporting Android’s native satellite implementation. As for network services, T-Mobile is touted to be the premier service provider, harking back to simpler times.

Reviving the Nexus/Pixel Line

The Pixel and Nexus lines were originally designed as platforms for Google to build Android. The idea was to incorporate the latest hardware elements into the upcoming Pixels to offer a real-world device to program Android and accordingly test new features. This move would avert the catch-22 scenario where a stall in hardware development due to absent software support keeps developers at bay, and vice versa. Google’s solution? Just take charge of it all.


The upcoming Pixel 9 seems poised to shake up the Android landscape, bringing in the long-awaited satellite SMS feature. By coupling with Samsung’s state-of-the-art Exynos Modem 5400 and joining hands with T-Mobile, Google is all set to lay out the blueprint for Android makers. Whether the Android community will take the cue and adapt this technology into their products remains to be seen. But for now, Google is gearing up to elevate the future of Android smartphones, led by Pixel 9.

Whether other Android manufacturers decide to support satellite messaging or not, Google’s decision to integrate it into the Pixel 9 ensures Android users don’t fall behind their iOS counterparts.


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