Emergency SOS via Satellite launches this November, supported by Apple’s $450 million investment
Apple announced it has made an investment worth $450 million, via its Advanced Manufacturing Fund, and this money will go towards the creation of infrastructure that will support the new feature Emergency SOS via satellite for all four iPhone 14 models.
This nifty feature enables the iPhone 14 models to connect directly to a satellite, which allows users to contact emergency services even when there’s no Wi-Fi or cellular coverage. This essentially means an iPhone 14 user can call for help whenever they find themselves stranded or without any cell signal.
In a newsroom post, Apple explained how its investment will help fund the infrastructure needed for this emergency feature to operate well. Most of the fund money shall be going to Globalstar, a global satellite service in Louisiana. The funding by Apple will be utilized to strengthen its satellite network and ground stations. Globalstar’s current 24 satellites and ground stations, and more than 300 of its employees are slated to support the new emergency SOS via satellite service. Upgrades, among other enhancements, include new high-power antennas, installed in ground stations located in Alaska, Florida, Hawaii, Nevada, Texas, and Puerto Rico.
Apple’s chief operating officer Jeff Williams said:
“Emergency SOS via satellite is a perfect example of how American ingenuity and technology can save lives. We are proud this service is enabled by leading US companies, and that our users can explore off-the-grid areas knowing they are still within reach of emergency services if they are in need.”
Emergency SOS via satellite, one of the ground-breaking safety features that the iPhone 14 lineup provides, is set to launch in November 2022 via an iOS 16 software update. This feature, however, is not available on older iPhone models.
Apple stated in a support document that the service is available for free for the first two years, indicating that there are plans to charge for it in the future.