Qualcomm Inks Satellite Communications Deal

San Diego-based Qualcomm has inked a deal with a number of firms to integrate satellite communications into its chipsets, the firm said Monday, allowing its mobile baseband chips to connect to satellite networks. According to an announcement by Mobile Satellite Ventures LP, a subsidiary of SkyTerra Comunications, ICO Global Communications Limited, and Qualcomm, Qualcomm will integrate both satellite and cellular communications into its chips, which will enable mass-market wireless handsets to connect via satellite in areas where traditional cellular service is unavailable or unreliable. According to the firm, Qualcomm will develop a satellite protocol to be included in select multi-mode baseband chips, which can connect to satellite networks operated by ICO and Mobile Satellite Ventures. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.