Apple is investing $450 million to help build out satellite infrastructure to support the iPhone 14’s new feature.
While the iPhone 14 series offered few significant upgrades over the iPhone 13, the main feature is satellite-based SOS service. Apple partnered with Globalstar as the provider of the service.
“Emergency SOS via satellite can help you connect with emergency services under exceptional circumstances when no other means of reaching emergency services are available,” Apple writes in its support page. “If you call or text emergency services and can’t connect because you’re outside the range of cellular and Wi-Fi coverage, your iPhone tries to connect you via satellite to the help that you need.”
According to PCMag, Apple is spending $450 million to help Globalstar upgrade its ground stations with “high-power antennas” from Cobham Satcom.
“These new antennas were installed in all Globalstar worldwide ground stations, including new ground stations in Nevada and Hawaii, as well as existing facilities in Texas, Alaska, Florida, and Puerto Rico,” the company said.
“With Apple’s infrastructure investment, we’ve grown our teams in California and elsewhere to construct, expand, and upgrade our ground stations, and we look forward to the next chapter in Globalstar’s lifesaving technology,” Globalstar Executive Chairman Jay Monroe added.
The upgrades should go a long way toward the rollout of the satellite SOS service later this month.