A $450 million investment by Globalstar, a U.S. satellite service, enabled Apple’s Emergency SOS satellite feature, which is coming to the iPhone 14 lineup later this month.
The funding is available through Apple’s Advanced Manufacturing Fund and will go toward critical upgrades to Globalstar’s satellite network and ground stations. Those stations are equipped with high-power antennas made by California-based Cobham Satcom, and about 300 employees at Globalstar support the new service.
The service uses spectrum in the L and S bands specifically designed for mobile satellite use by the IT Radio Regulations. Once the iPhone 14 makes a satellite request, the message is received by one of Globalstar’s 24 satellites in low Earth orbit, which then relays the message to a custom ground station that relays it to emergency services.
How emergency SOS looks like via satellite
Apple’s Emergency SOS will launch via satellite in the US and Canada later this month. The first 2 years are free, then a paid subscription is required, but the price is yet to be confirmed.