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Apple pledges $450 million to expand satellite infrastructure powering Emergency SOS • londonbusinessblog.com

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As part of the Advanced Manufacturing Fund, Apple will invest $450 million in satellite networks and ground stations to power Emergency SOS, the service for the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro lineups that uses satellite to route emergency calls. announced Today. Most of the funding will go to Globalstar, the satellite provider Apple has an existing partnership with to deliver Emergency SOS when it launches later this month.

In part, Apple’s capital injection will fund the installation of new custom-designed antennas manufactured by California-based company Cobham Satcom. Designed to receive signals broadcast from Globalstar’s satellite constellation, the antennas are already installed in the satellite provider’s existing ground stations, including facilities in Nevada, Hawaii, Texas, Alaska, Florida and Puerto Rico.

“The launch of Emergency SOS via satellite direct to iPhone is a generational advance in satellite communications, and we are proud that Globalstar’s satellites and spectrum assets will play a pivotal role in saving lives,” said Jay Monroe, Executive Chairman of Globalstart , in a statement. “With Apple’s infrastructure investment, we’ve expanded our teams in California and elsewhere to build, expand and upgrade our ground stations, and we look forward to the next chapter in Globalstar’s life-saving technology.”

as CNBC notes, underscores Apple’s investment — one of the largest to date from its Advanced Manufacturing Fund, through which the company has provided US-based suppliers including Corning, Finisar, XPO Logistics and Copan Diagnostics more than $1.4 billion dollars. – the precious nature of satellite-based communications. In addition to a substantial technical and communication infrastructure, Emergency SOS requires call centers with human employees. Apple says more than 300 Globalstar employees will be working on the service.

Emergency SOS does not support ordinary data, voice or text. But it alerts emergency services with a location and other important information. Once users point their phone at a satellite using an iOS orientation guide, they can choose between preset messages to be sent to the local EMS along with the phone’s battery level and medical information. If supported in the region where the emergency call is placed, iPhone users can have a two-way conversation with first responders. If not, Emergency SOS will route communications through Apple-operated local relay stations acting as an emergency intermediary.

Emergency SOS will remain free for Phone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro owners for two years when it goes live in the US and Canada in late November. But Apple has left open the option to charge for it afterwards.

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