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iPhone users could potentially receive a feature that enables voice calls and internet connectivity using satellite power in the near future

In a recent FCC filing, Apple’s partner Globalstar has indicated that the tech giant is exploring the expansion of satellite-powered features on iPhones. While Apple already introduced the emergency SOS via satellite feature with the iPhone 14 series, allowing users to send emergency messages in areas with no cellular or Wi-Fi coverage, it appears that the company is considering broader applications.

The emergency SOS feature lets users send text emergency messages via satellite using the Find My app, and according to PCMag, there are hints that this functionality might be extended to include voice calls and internet connectivity. The FCC filing addresses a plan from T-Mobile and SpaceX to offer satellite internet services for “unmodified” T-Mobile smartphones, and Globalstar’s statement suggests that their mobile satellite service (MSS) system could evolve to support a wider range of features and services directly on smartphones.

The emergency SOS via satellite feature, introduced with the iPhone 14 series, is free for two years after activating an iPhone 14 or iPhone 14 Pro. Currently available in the US, this feature enables users to contact emergency services via satellite when traditional communication methods are not available. It leverages Globalstar’s MSS system to provide crucial information to emergency responders, including location, medical ID, emergency contact information, questionnaire answers, and remaining battery life.


iPhone 14 Will Have Satellite Connectivity. How Exactly It Will Work
iPhone 14 Will Have Satellite Connectivity. How Exactly It Will Work

If the satellite-powered features on iPhones are expanded to include voice calls and internet connectivity, it could offer a valuable communication option in remote or emergency situations where traditional networks are inaccessible. Users would potentially be able to make satellite-powered voice calls and access the internet even when outside cellular and Wi-Fi coverage areas.

The FCC filing and Globalstar’s statement suggest ongoing collaboration between Apple, Globalstar, and other partners to enhance satellite capabilities on iPhones. The evolution of the MSS system to support a broader array of features aligns with the trend of integrating satellite technology into consumer devices for improved connectivity and communication in various scenarios.

While specific details about the potential rollout and timeline for these extended features are not provided in the current reports, the developments indicate Apple’s interest in leveraging satellite technology to enhance the capabilities of its smartphones. It remains to be seen how quickly these features will be implemented and how they will be integrated into future iPhone models. As technology continues to advance, the prospect of satellite-powered voice calls and internet connectivity on iPhones reflects a growing emphasis on expanding communication options and improving accessibility for users worldwide.

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