Apple’s Advanced Manufacturing Fund invested $450 million in Emergency SOS via satellite for iPhone 14. Beginning later this month, the new service will enable iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro users to communicate with emergency services when outside cellular and Wi-Fi coverage.
Globalstar, headquartered in Covington, Louisiana, with facilities across the US, received most of the funding. Globalstar’s satellite network and ground stations will be enhanced by Apple’s investment, ensuring iPhone 14 users can access emergency services off the grid. More than 300 Globalstar employees support the new service.
Among the groundbreaking safety features of the iPhone 14 lineup is emergency SOS via satellite. When a user is unconscious or unable to reach their iPhone, Crash Detection can automatically dial emergency services. With Globalstar’s advanced satellite network and ground stations around the world, iPhone 14 users can contact lifesaving emergency services when away from cellular and Wi-Fi coverage.
Through its partnership with Globalstar, Apple’s Emergency SOS service utilizes spectrum in the L and S bands that are specially designated by ITU Radio Regulations for mobile satellite services. Messages sent by iPhone users via satellite are received by one of Globalstar’s 24 low-earth orbit satellites traveling at approximately 16,000 mph. At key points all over the world, custom ground stations receive the message from the satellite.
The message is routed to emergency services that can dispatch help, or to an Apple-trained relay center if the nearest emergency services location is unable to receive text messages. The Emergency SOS via satellite app, available later this month on iPhone 14 models, enables users to text emergency services and share their location via satellite.
In Concord, California, Cobham Satcom manufactures high-power antennas specifically for Apple. The high-powered antennas manufactured by Cobham will receive signals transmitted by satellite constellations. If there is no cellular or Wi-Fi connection, iPhone users can use their Find My app to share their location via satellite when there is no cellular or Wi-Fi connection.
These brand-new antennas were installed in all Globalstar ground stations worldwide. This included new facilities in Nevada and Hawaii, as well as existing facilities in Texas, Alaska, Florida, and Puerto Rico. Each ground station has several antennas that communicate with satellites and relay information from the user.
As a result of Apple’s investment, Globalstar ground stations have already been enhanced with customized high-power antennas manufactured specifically for Apple at Cobham Satcom’s Concord, California plant. In the US, Globalstar has operated mobile satellite services for over 20 years, which are used for connecting iPhones to satellite networks. The spectrum will remain available for emergency services with upgraded ground stations and soon an updated satellite constellation.
Along with groundbreaking safety features, the iPhone 14 lineup features all-day battery life, advanced camera systems, and industry-leading durability. When activated with select US carriers, customers looking to upgrade to the iPhone 14 lineup can save up to $1,000 with trade-ins – either online or at an Apple Store. Over a five-year period, Apple plans to invest over $430 billion in the US.