Emergency SOS via satellite launches in Australia and New Zealand

Apple’s customers who live in Australia and New Zealand can now take advantage of Emergency SOS via satellite when cellular and Wi-Fi coverages are unavailable.

The Messages app on iPhone using Emergency SOS via satellite
Location reporting via a satellite | Composition: Christian Zibreg/iDB; Earth image: Apple
  • On May 15, 2023, Apple announced its Emergency SOS via satellite feature expanded to Australia and New Zealand following its September 2022 debut.
  • Customers can use the service on their iPhone 14 with iOS 16.4 or later.
  • The service is now available in fourteen countries.

Emergency SOS via satellite in Australia and New Zealand

The announcement explains that Emergency SOS via satellite kicks into action if a user doesn’t have any network coverage and dials 000 in Australia or 111 in New Zealand, which will produce an option to send an emergency text via a satellite.

Apple Newsroom:

This game-changing service connects users to relay centers staffed with Apple-trained emergency specialists who are ready to contact Public Safety Answering Points—or emergency services call centers—on the userʼs behalf to get them the help they need.

The service is free for two years, starting when a new iPhone 14 model is activated. Apple didn’t say how much the feature will cost once the two years are up.

Emergency SOS via satellite: Availability and requirements

Counting today’s expansion, Emergency SOS via satellite is currently available to customers in these fourteen countries:

  • Australia (iOS 16.4 or later)
  • Austria (iOS 16.4 or later)
  • Belgium (iOS 16.4 or later)
  • Canada (iOS 16.1 or later)
  • France (iOS 16.2 or later)
  • Germany (iOS 16.2 or later)
  • Ireland (iOS 16.2 or later)
  • Italy (iOS 16.4 or later)
  • Luxembourg (iOS 16.4 or later)
  • Netherlands (iOS 16.4 or later)
  • New Zealand (iOS 16.4 or later)
  • Portugal (iOS 16.4 or later)
  • United Kingdom (iOS 16.2 or later)
  • United States (iOS 16.1 or later)

Be sure to peruse our tutorial showing you how to use Emergency SOS via satellite to text emergency services when out of cellular and Wi-Fi coverage, update your location via satellite in the Find My app, use a demo of the feature to see how it works without calling emergency services, and so on.

Emergency SOS via satellite doesn’t work above 62° latitude, like in northern parts of Canada and Alaska. You must be outdoors and have a clear view of the sky to connect to a low-earth orbiting satellite. Obstructions like foliage and tall buildings can affect the performance of your satellite connection.

For further information, read Apple’s support document.