Apple gives the go-ahead for satellite radio on the iPhone: From Monday it will be possible to make an emergency call via satellite in the USA and Canada with a model from the iPhone 14 series. The function is available when the iPhone is unable to establish an emergency call connection via the cellular network or WLAN. In Germany, France, Great Britain and Ireland, satellite connections with iPhone 14, 14 Plus, 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max should be possible from December.
Share iPhone location via satellite
An emergency call via satellite is also possible in the event of a car accident detected by the iPhone or Apple Watch, as well as a serious fall of a watch wearer, as the manufacturer announced. In addition to text-based contact with emergency services in emergencies, the satellite connection also supports an everyday function: Users can use Apple’s “Where is?” network to make their (selective) location visible to third parties in dead spots.
Apple uses a large part of the capacities of the provider Globalstar, whose satellites orbit the earth at an altitude of around 1400 kilometers (Low Earth Orbit – LEO) and cover a large part of the globe. The group recently announced an investment of 450 million US dollars in the satellite service.
With a direct, unobstructed view of the sky, it should be possible to send the emergency short message in around 15 seconds, as Apple announced. iOS helps align iPhone to a satellite. The text emergency call is routed to an emergency dispatch center that assists – or is handled by dedicated Globalstar teams who then transmit the emergency call to on-site emergency services. Apple has integrated a demo function that can be used to test the satellite connection without making an emergency call.
Satellite radio only free for two years
Apple is offering the satellite service to iPhone 14 buyers free of charge for two years. The period begins for existing customers with the availability of the service and later buyers of the smartphones from activation. Apple has still not mentioned the price for the renewal of the subscription after the two years.
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