Emergency SOS via satellite could launch in the United Kingdom as soon as next week
Apple’s new Emergency SOS via satellite feature may be coming to another country as soon as next week.
As reported by MacRumors, a source who spoke with the outlet has said that the new safety feature could launch in the United Kingdom sooner than Apple anticipated when it initially announced Emergency SOS via satellite back in September.
The report says that “emergency services personnel in the country have been told that calls from the Emergency SOS via Satellite feature will be routed to local emergency services facilities starting on Tuesday, December 13.”
The feature is already available in two countries
With a launch in the United Kingdom, Apple would increase the number of countries supported by the feature to three. Emergency SOS via satellite is already available in the United States and Canada, having launched in both countries back in November.
The new safety feature is currently exclusive to the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro and will be available to iPhone 14 owners for free for the first two years. It is currently unclear what Apple may charge for the feature after those two years are up.
Emergency SOS via satellite “combines custom components deeply integrated with software to allow antennas to connect directly to a satellite, enabling messaging with emergency services when outside of cellular or Wi-Fi coverage. Satellites are moving targets with low bandwidth, and it can take minutes for messages to get through. Since every second counts, with Emergency SOS via satellite, iPhone front-loads a few vital questions to assess the user’s situation and shows them where to point their phone to connect to a satellite. The initial questionnaire and follow-up messages are then relayed to centers staffed by Apple-trained specialists who can call for help on the user’s behalf.”
In addition to the United Kingdom, Apple says that the feature will also launch in France, Germany, and Ireland in December.