With the new Emergency SOS function on the iPhone 14, Plus, and Pro Max, users may call for assistance even when they are beyond Wi-Fi coverage areas. Starting in November, this feature debuts first in the US and Canada.
This past weekend, a Reuters article stated that the modem from Qualcomm X65 found within the phones is what makes the satellite services possible. According to a statement from Apple to Reuters, the satellite capability is also made feasible by specially created software and radio components from Apple.
The Qualcomm X65 modem supports “band n53,” which allows iPhone to interact to the satellites in the sky, in addition to 5G cellular connectivity for phone calls and data. Particularly, Apple has worked with Globalstar’s satellite infrastructure.
SOS via Satellite will be made available when a user places an Emergency SOS call but cannot reach a cell tower. The smartphone will then give you the choice to connect to a satellite and send a quick text message in place of that. For the functionality to function, users will require a clear view of the sky; iOS will instruct users to position their devices to align with the overhead satellites.
How Will iPhone Transmit These Messages?
If local emergency agencies are able to use text-based channels, the iPhone will send these messages immediately via satellite connection. Otherwise, Apple relay centres will receive the SOS message and contact emergency services on your behalf.
Starting in November, this service will be provided for free for two years. Apple has not revealed pricing plans for the satellite service after the free trial period expires. Initially, country availability is restricted to the United States and Canada.
It’s no secret that Apple’s chip teams are currently working on an in-house 5G modem with the goal of completely eliminating Qualcomm components from the iPhone, with the primary goals of improving power efficiency (longer battery life) and lowering royalty payments to improve unit cost margins on every iPhone sold.