Qualcomm have jointly announced today a partnership that could have far-reaching implications in the mobile realm. In short, the trio has agreed to "integrate satellite and cellular communication technology in select multi-mode mobile baseband chips," which will essentially enable handsets to have "ubiquitous mobile communications coverage from anywhere in North America, including areas where traditional cellular service is currently unavailable or unreliable." The release proclaims that this hookup will lead to satellite connectivity being in mass-market devices, but only time will tell how long it takes for compatible handsets to get adopted by carriers. Unfortunately, we do know it won't happen prior to 2010, as that's the planned ship date for the newfangled chips. Thanks for the heads-up, guys -- but oh, how the tease hurts us.
Update: Images provided are of Mobile Satellite Ventures' design concepts.