Apple has filed for a patent (number 20220312182) for “systems and methods to indicate emergency service for roaming users.” It apparently involves the company’s iOS 16 feature, “Emergency SOS via Satellite.”

About the patent filing

The patent related generally to wireless communication systems, and more specifically to emergency services support. 

Emergency SOS via Satellite combines custom components deeply integrated with software to allow antennas to connect directly to a satellite, enabling messaging with emergency services when outside of cellular or Wi-Fi coverage. Apple says that aatellites are moving targets with low bandwidth, and it can take minutes for messages to get through. Since every second counts, with Emergency SOS via satellite, iPhone front-loads a few vital questions to assess the user’s situation, and shows them where to point their phone to connect to a satellite. 

The initial questionnaire and follow-up messages are then relayed to centers staffed by Apple‑trained specialists who can call for help on the user’s behalf. This technology also allows users to manually share their location over satellite with Find My when there is no cellular or Wi-Fi connection. Emergency SOS via satellite will be available to users in the US and Canada in November, and the service will be free for two years.

Apple will use Globalstar satellites for Emergency SOS via Satellite. The company already uses the satellite network for its location-tracking feature known as Find My, notes AppleInsider.

Summary of the patent filing

Here’s Apple’s abstract of the patent filing: “Emergency services support is indicated to roaming devices in a wireless network. A user equipment (UE) may receive a message from the wireless network indicating at least one public land mobile network (PLMN) that provides emergency services support for devices in limited service. The UE may store, in a non-volatile memory (NVM), an identifier of the at least one PLMN in a whitelist of limited service emergency services support. In response to a trigger in a roaming limited service condition of the UE, the UE may establish an emergency session with a selected PLMN based on the whitelist of limited service emergency services support.”

Article provided with permission from AppleWorld.Today