How the Apple iPhone 14 connects to satellites during emergencies


This is one of the coolest topics of discussion. Apple made an official announcement prior to the launch of the Apple iPhone 14 that it will connect to satellites. But before getting too excited, this feature currently works only in iPhone 14 models with IOS 16 and above. This feature is currently restricted to the USA, Canada, and a few other European countries. 

Further, this option is available only when there is entirely no connection with any  cellular network carriers or Wifi. There is no visible setting that will enable you to connect your iPhone to the satellite. The iPhone 14 satellite SOS pops up automatically in an emergency situation.

First of all, I would never want to be in a situation where I have to use the satellite SOS option. Apple describes it as a situation when the phone does not have any connection to any cellular network or wifi, which in itself sounds intimidating.

How Apple iPhone 14 Connects to Satellites

It is just not easily possible to connect your phone to the satellite. You need to ensure that your location services and Find My on iPhone are all active. You need to ensure that you at least use the app once when you are in the network range.

Also, it is essential to set location sharing from the iPhone you are carrying along with you. This option is available at the bottom when you open Find My. A detailed guide to using this feature is available in the resource center on the Apple website.

In order to connect to a satellite, you need to be in an open area with minimal surfaces for distractions. A tree with mild foliage will make the connection slow. However, dense foliage, mountains, and other structures can completely obstruct the connection process.

It is not necessary to lift your phone towards the sky, but just an open space with no obstructions is sufficient. Whenever you try to send your location in the absence of network carriers or Wifi, the satellite connections automatically turn on. With simple self-guided steps, it is possible to connect to the satellite easily.

The on-screen instructions even tell you the direction in which you need to stand for getting a proper and quick connection with the satellite.

Seeing the satellite location sent by someone else

For this, you do not need an iPhone 14. Any phone operation on IOS 16.1 and above is enough to view the location. A small satellite icon appears along with their photo to show that their location was sent through satellite. The latest location will be visible for 7 days.

Using Emergency iPhone Satellite SOS

In an emergency situation when there is neither a cellular network nor a Wifi, you can use your iPhone 14 to connect with a satellite and contact the emergency services.

Connecting to a satellite

Hold your phone in your hand naturally. There is no specific need to lift it up and point toward the sky. But do not put your phone inside a backpack or packet.

Ensure that the sky and the horizon are just plainly visible to you. Trees with light foliage may slow down the connection. However dense trees, mountains, and other structures may completely disrupt the connection.

On-screen instructions pop up, which tell the direction in which the satellite is present. Just follow the instructions to ensure a steady and smooth connection.

Connection to the satellite remains constant even after locking your phone. So after establishing a connection, you can calmly hold the phone in your hand.

Conversing With Emergency Services Through The Satellite

After establishing a steady and successful connection with the satellite, proceed by calling the emergency service number. This number is different for different countries. For instance, in the USA it is 911, while in France it is 196, and 110 in Germany.

Certain IOS 16.2 or above are essential for texting emergency services. In case you are not able to connect successfully to the emergency services through any cellular network, you can use the satellite to send a message.

Texting emergency services shows a number of previously recorded questions. You can simply tap on different answers to convey your emergency that perfectly describes your situation.

You also choose to notify your location and the emergency to your emergency contacts. Completing the process of adding emergency contacts and medical ID beforehand is essential.

The iPhone 14 satellite SOS directly sends your location, and medical ID to the emergency services and the pre-chosen emergency contacts using a satellite connection. Currently English is the primary choice of messaging using a satellite connection. Other languages such as American Spanish, Canadian French, French, and German are also available.

What Are Emergency Contacts?

Emergency contacts are the chosen list of people who receive details regarding your emergency. They can be your family members or friends. It is essential to choose people who access their phones frequently, in order to improve your chances of quick support.

Emergency contacts who use IOS 16.1 and above get the following details as an emergency message. 

  • Map of your location.
  • Your answer to the emergency questionnaire
  • Other messages you send to the emergency services

For emergency contact who do not use Apple iPhones or use a version lower than 16.1, then they would receive a text message from a number like 767911 in the USA or 767112. The message content would generally be in the format shown below.

  • Such an emergency message starts with, “You are receiving this message because Mr. X has your number in their emergency contacts and used emergency iPhone 14 satellite SOS service.”
  • That person should respond with YES to the message within 48 hours in order to receive future messages. In case they respond with NO, then they will not receive any further communications regarding the present emergency or future emergency. 
  • However, they can RESTART to the same message to resume receiving messages. 
  • The messages they receive would have your location and the type of emergency.

The emergency contacts need not inform the emergency services, as the emergency service is already aware of the emergency. They have the option of only replying with YES or NO.

Once the Apple iPhone 14 connects to satellites messages are sent to both the emergency services and the emergency contacts. This proves to be the slim line of difference between life and death.

Basic Requirements For Using iPhone 14 Satellite SOS

For using satellite SOS, you need to have an Apple iPhone 14 with IOS version 16.1 and above. There should be no availability of any cellular network or wifi in that area

Currently, this facility is available only in the USA, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, and the U.K. This facility may not work in northern parts of Canada and Alaska.

International travelers who visit such countries can use such services. However, this option is not available for users who brought their phones from mainland China, Macao, and Hong kong. Their phones do not support Satellite SOS.

Bottom Line

Apple iPhone is seriously committed to providing its users with one of the most secure and safe devices to use. Through continuous R&D, the company is bringing out features that sound very unfamiliar. But they have been very useful in a number of instances.

This feature of connecting the iPhone 14 satellite SOS has in itself proven to be a game changer. The ability to send instant emergency messages in the remotest places ensures a high level of safety.

So the next time you plan of buying a smartphone, think about a life changer. You could very well save your life by spending a few extra bucks.

Concluding thoughts

I, Anek Bedi, am an entrepreneur and business owner. I am crafting my life for not only my personal success but continuously trying to provide valuable improvements to society.

Each of my companies – VO logistics, Virtual Healthcare, and VO IT provide the best possible services to society. I personally tend to ensure complete client satisfaction. I believe this has been the reason for my personal success and the tremendous growth of my company.

Stay tuned with me, as I bring in more updates and well-researched writings about the latest technologies, and ideas for initiating new business.


Can iPhone 14 connect to a satellite?
In case of an emergency situation, your iPhone can connect to a satellite for sending emergency messages only. Just follow the on-screen instruction and quickly connect with the satellite.

Is it possible to use iPhone 14 as a satellite phone?

Connecting your phone to a satellite is possible only in case of an emergency. There should be no cellular signal from any network carriers and no Wifi as well. The option to connect to the satellite is not visible but remains an automatic option only.

Which satellite is the iPhone working with?

The phone connects with Globalstar’s Band 53 spectrum, which is currently providing this service.

What details are sent using satellite SOS?

When contacting emergency services using satellite, details of your exact location, the reason for the emergency, and the medical ID are all shared.

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