Apple announced that its satellite-based safety service, Emergency SOS, is now accessible to consumers in six additional countries: Austria, Belgium, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and Portugal.
The feature, which is available on all iPhone 14 models, allows users to communicate with emergency services while they are outside of cellular and Wi-Fi connectivity.
Furthermore, if users wish to reassure friends and family about their locations when traveling off the grid, they may now open the Find My app and share their location via satellite, the company said.
“Emergency SOS via satellite is a great example of technology that could keep our citizens safe. Cellular or Wi-Fi coverage is a key improvement that Apple made available with the iPhone 14,” said Jan van Loosbroek, director of the Dutch National Control Room Organisation.
If a user is unable to access emergency services due to a lack of cellular or Wi-Fi coverage, an easy-to-use interface opens on the iPhone to get the user help through a satellite connection.
Starting with the activation of a new iPhone 14 model, the service will be provided for free for two years.
Users in these new six countries will need iOS 16.4 to use Emergency SOS by satellite and Locate My via satellite.
If a user dials a local emergency number, the call is automatically diverted to 112, the European emergency number, if the call fails due to a lack of cellular or Wi-Fi connectivity, allowing users to take advantage of emergency SOS via satellite even if they do not dial 112.
The Emergency SOS via satellite service is already offered in Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, the United Kingdom, and the United States.