Satellite emergency calls: Apple privatizes Globalstar network, Elon Musk offers Starlink help

Satellite emergency calls: Apple privatizes Globalstar network, Elon Musk offers Starlink help

Starting in November, US and Canadian iPhone 14 users will be able to rely on their smartphones to call for help in all situations, especially when the device is out of range of a cellular or Wi-Fi network. In this case, the iPhone will try. Pick up a satellite signal, after asking vital questions to the user to assess their condition. All this will be handled by specially trained Apple employees, who will then notify the emergency services.

The service will be free for two years; Apple did not specify how much it will cost later. The manufacturer didn’t develop its own set of satellites (with its deep pockets, it wouldn’t have gotten that many), but it called Globalstar. The American company announced that in 2020 it will work with a “ Potential client », A Confirmed Yesterday it was Apple.

The agreement between the two companies stipulates that Apple is allocated 85% of Globalstar’s network capacity. Apple will cover 95 percent of the costs associated with the new satellites and associated costs. In other words, it is Presque As Cupertino himself promised Constellation of satellites ! However, the Globalstar network seems much more modest than Starlink: at the latest, the former has 85 satellites in low orbit, the latter about 3,000.

It’s not clear whether Apple plans to roll out the service beyond the two countries initially announced, but GlobalStar may not be enough. It was in this context that Elon Musk – the head of SpaceX and therefore its subsidiary Starlink – announced on Twitter that he had held talks. is offered On Starlink connectivity with Apple.

We’d be wary of the fictional billionaire’s grandiose claims, but a deal would make sense in light of Starlink’s deal with T-Mobile. Announced at the end of August : The operator’s subscribers can hook up the signal of Starlink satellites to make calls, send SMS and use some data. As part of that, the day beforeThe incident From Apple, Huawei introduced a satellite connection function For the new Mate 50 series. Smartphones attract the Chinese BeiDou satellite network.

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