Apple Expands Emergency SOS via Satellite Feature to France, Germany, Ireland, and the U.K.
Emergency SOS via Satellite is a safety system that lets users connect to satellites to message emergency services and share their location with friends and family via the Find My app when there’s no cellular or Wi-Fi coverage. Apple first launched the feature in Canada and the U.S. last month.
Emergency SOS via satellite builds on existing features vital to iPhone users, including Emergency SOS, Medical ID, emergency contacts, and Find My location sharing, offering the ability to connect to a satellite for a more 360-degree approach to sharing critical information with emergency services, family, and friends.
At launch, Apple promised to bring Emergency SOS via Satellite to France, Germany, Ireland, and the U.K. by December — a promise the iPhone maker has now made good on. According to Apple, the feature will expand to more countries next year.
“Emergency SOS via satellite makes emergency communications over satellite more accessible, which is very exciting,” said Gary Machado, CEO of the European Emergency Number Association.
“In practice, it means that many more people will be able to contact 112 when they have no mobile coverage and need urgent assistance. We are confident that this will save many lives and offer significant help to emergency services dealing with these often very complicated rescues.”
Earlier this month, State Troopers in Alaska rescued a stranded snowmobiler in what was the first reported use of Emergency SOS via Satellite.
“Being able to use a satellite connection to contact 999 or 112 if there is no cellular or Wi-Fi coverage is a breakthrough that Apple has brought to the general public with iPhone 14,” said John Anthony, President of the British Association of Public Safety Communications Officials.
“The feature will mean that emergency services can be alerted when it was not previously possible and are then able to do their jobs to better effect, in part because of the initial information that can be shared with dispatchers, such as location and essential details about the emergency. Ultimately, this will help save lives.”
Emergency SOS via Satellite is free for two years starting at the time of activation of any compatible device, which currently includes the iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Plus, iPhone 14 Pro, and iPhone 14 Pro Max. For more information on the feature, check out our explanation of how it works.