iPhone’s Sat-based SOS Rolls Out in New Zealand & Australia

iPhone’s Sat-based SOS Rolls Out in New Zealand & Australia
Written by Techbot

iPhone’s Sat-based SOS Rolls Out in New Zealand & Australia

Apple has launched its emergency satellite communication features for iPhone 14 users in Australia and New Zealand. This satellite-based emergency SOS feature is expected to provide a new lifeline in areas with little or no cellular network coverage.

The tech giant claims that they have designed this groundbreaking feature to help users send distress signals in emergencies.

The said feature is not a whole new launch.

The iPhone maker rolled it out first in the US and Canada in November 2022. Then, the service was expanded to 12 countries. Given this, New Zealand and Australia are just two other additions.

How it Works

The satellite SOS feature utilizes low earth orbit (LEO) satellites to transmit emergency SOS signals. A user in a dire situation can trigger an emergency call by tapping the power button five times rapidly or holding the power and the volume button.

Besides, they can also dial ‘000.’ The device will attempt to connect to the cellular network first, and if that fails, it will want the user to answer a short questionnaire.

Then, it will send the info and the location to the concerned destinations through a compatible LEO satellite. This enables a swift and accurate response.

Importantly, the feature does not support general voice calls or messaging via satellite, focusing exclusively on emergency services.

Apple‘s satellite SOS is available to users with an iPhone 14 or later, reflecting the necessary hardware compatibility to communicate with satellites. Users do not require any additional subscription or charges for this service.

A Timely Move

The introduction of the satellite SOS feature comes at a time when Australia and New Zealand are grappling with the challenges of ensuring the safety of their citizens in remote and hard-to-reach areas.

Apple’s move has been widely welcomed by both governments and emergency services.

It’s being said that the feature will be a game-changer, particularly in rural and remote areas. In fact, this initiative will help save lives by drastically reducing response times.

The system will allow users to point the iPhone in the direction of the satellite for sending messages. According to the Apple authority, since the satellite communications’ bandwidth is low, the messages will be compressed by 3x, ensuring quick delivery.

Furthermore, when a user is on a remote hike and wants to notify their family about their location, they can send it using the “Find my app” feature. This will work even if they are unable to connect to any network.

All they need to do is open the ‘Me’ tab and select ‘Send my location’ from the ‘My location via satellite’ option.

Apple’s rivals like Vivo, Oppo, Xiaomi, and Samsung are also planning to make this feature available with their devices soon.

According to Michelle Rolland, the communication minister of Australia, Australians are keenly acquainted with the significance of staying connected in rural and remote areas.

Apple’s new feature will be helpful to serve the purpose in emergencies. He also expects that this move will contribute significantly when it comes to facilitating emergency services to respond to and protect people.

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