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Bell Says Apple Watch Series 3 Cellular May Not Give GPS Location to 911 Services, Fix Coming [u]

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Bell has clarified Apple Watch Series 3 cellular users should be aware their GPS location may not be provided to 911 services when the watch is not paired to the iPhone:

Bell customers with the new Apple Watch Series 3 should be aware that their longitude and latitude location may not be supplied to 9-1-1 operators when the device is not paired with their iPhone via Bluetooth. However, in the event of an emergency, 9-1-1 Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) will contact Bell Mobility to obtain required longitude and latitude information.

When the devices are not paired, all other Enhanced 9-1-1 (E9-1-1) features are available on Apple Watch, such as emergency services able to determine your phone number and location to the nearest cell tower–but not your exact location, which is critical in emergencies, according to the press release issued to iPhone in Canada.

Bell says their network team is “working closely with its technology partners to resolve the latitude and longitude issue as soon as possible.” If you have any questions you should contact the company, explains Bell.

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Customers calling 9-1-1, reminds Bell, should be prepared to give their 10-digit cell number, location and describe the emergency.

Bell is the exclusive carrier launch partner in Canada for Apple Watch Series 3 with cellular. The watch can be purchased from Bell and their electronics chain, The Source.

Update: Bell’s Director of Communications, Marc Choma, clarified to iPhone in Canada the update coming to fix this issue will coming from Bell’s backend, and not from an Apple software update.

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  • How accurate is the iPhone’s latitude and longitude anyway?

  • BeaveVillage

    Using celltower triangulation–within 10-20 feet accurate on most cases, and it gets to perfection the longer a call or map-app is in progress.

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