Emergency SOS via Satellite is now available in Austria, Belgium, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and Portugal, thanks to a new update released today by Apple. Apple has stated in a news release that for the feature to function properly in these countries, the iOS 16.4 update must be installed first.
Users of iPhone 14 models in countries with the available feature can connect to Globalstar satellites using the Emergency SOS via Satellite feature. This will enable users to send text messages to emergency service dispatchers even when they are outside the cellular and Wi-Fi coverage range. After activating an iPhone 14, the service is free for two years. Today marks the beginning of these two years for users in the countries now being serviced.
Apple states that beginning with iOS 16.4, a user contacting a local emergency number in one of the newly supported countries will have their call automatically diverted to 112, the emergency number for Europe, if the call cannot be completed because there is no cellular or Wi-Fi connection.
Apple informs its customers on a support page that messages may take longer to send or not send if there is foliage or other obstructions. It is possible that satellite communication will not work in locations with a latitude higher than 62 degrees, such as the northern sections of Canada and Alaska.
In November, the United States and Canada began offering the Emergency SOS via Satellite service. To use it, you needed an iPhone 14, an iPhone 14 Plus, an iPhone 14 Pro, or an iPhone 14 Pro Max. The service was introduced in December in France, Germany, Ireland, and the United Kingdom. IPhone users should study Apple’s support manual because it contains crucial information about the service.