iPhone 14: satellite communication, a $450 million feature

During his traditional keynote, Apple presented its range of iPhone 14. Nothing revolutionary on the menu, but some innovative functions intended to improve the user experience, even to protect it. The Apple brand has integrated assistance to contact the emergency services in the event of a major problem. In addition to the detection of serious road accidents, the emergency call by satellite made an impression.

Satellite communication is not intended here to replace operators’ terrestrial antennas; it is exclusively intended to send emergency messages when a user is unable to request help through traditional telecom channels.

To connect to a satellite, the owner of the iPhone 14 must point the smartphone towards the sky following the indications of the device. Once the connection has been established, the answers to the questions displayed on the screen, aimed at describing the situation, are sent to specialized centers which are responsible for alerting the emergency services. Clear sky, sending a message takes about fifteen seconds, otherwise you have to wait a few minutes.

Partnership with Globalstar

For this feature, Apple is working with the company Globalstar, manager of a constellation of satellites in low Earth orbit, with a budget of 450 million dollars. According Reuters, Apple will also pay 95% of the capital expenditure for the new satellites necessary to operate its service. For its part, Globalstar will have to incur additional debt to ensure the manufacture and deployment of the satellites. Financing must be finalized in the fourth quarter with the bank Goldman Sachs.

A feature accessible in the United States and Canada, but not in France

The satellite communication feature of the iPhone 14 will only be available in the United States and Canada, free for two years. Unless traveling to North America, the French owners of this terminal will therefore not be able to take advantage of it… for the moment.

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