The iPhone 14 is now also becoming a satellite phone in Germany: In addition to the USA and Canada, owners of an iPhone 14, 14 Plus, 14 Pro or 14 Pro Max can also make an emergency call via a satellite connection in Germany, France, Great Britain and Ireland in dead spots, as stated by the manufacturer.
Apple has entered into a far-reaching partnership with the satellite operator Globalstar. Emergency calls are possible via text message and also allow (text-based) two-way communication with the emergency services.
Text communication with the emergency services
Starting with version 16.1, iOS helps the user to point the smartphone to a satellite and follow its orbit. The text emergency call should then be sent to a ground station with additional information such as the location via the satellite. From there, it is either forwarded to a suitably equipped rescue coordination center or received by Apple-trained teams in relay centers who contact the rescue services. There is also the option of informing your own emergency contacts already stored on the iPhone.
Apple has integrated a demo mode into the operating system with which users can try out the (real) connection to a satellite and the exchange of messages with a relay center – the answers are automated, no emergency call is triggered.
Share location by satellite
With the “Where is?” app, it is also possible to share your own location manually and selectively via satellite connection with previously set up contacts, who must also be using at least iOS 16.1. Apple currently does not support automatic location tracking with approval – as offered by other satellite subscription services.
iPhone 14 users can use the satellite function free of charge for a period of two years from activation in their country or from activation of a new iPhone. Apple has not yet announced the price for subsequent use of the service.
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