Last week, T-Mobile announced a partnership with SpaceX that would allow T-Mobile customers to “roam” on the satellite network – at least as far as messaging goes.
Today, Apple may have outdone them.
One of the new features in the iPhone14 is… Satellite SOS services. From Apple:
The iPhone 14 lineup also introduces Emergency SOS via satellite, which 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. This breakthrough technology also allows users to manually share their location over satellite with Find My when there is no cellular or Wi-Fi connection, providing a sense of security when hiking or camping off the grid. Emergency SOS via satellite will be available to users in the US and Canada in November, and the service will be free for two years.
And it’s available on the phone, so the service provider doesn’t matter.—
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