As per the disclosed details in an SEC filing, Globalstar will be paying SpaceX a substantial sum of $64 million for their satellite launch services. These payments are scheduled to occur from 2023 to 2025, aligning with SpaceX’s satellite launch timeline.
Apple unveiled the Emergency SOS via Satellite feature last year, alongside the release of the iPhone 14 series. This innovative technology enables iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Plus, iPhone 14 Pro, and iPhone 14 Pro Max users to contact emergency services even in locations where there is no WiFi or cellular connectivity.
Globalstar plays a pivotal role as Apple’s partner in this initiative, responsible for managing the satellite network that makes the Emergency SOS feature possible. Apple initially announced that this service would be offered free of charge for two years, but they have not yet disclosed any pricing details for the future.
While the $64 million paid by Globalstar to SpaceX is a significant amount, it is likely just a fraction of the overall cost associated with operating these satellites. Consequently, Apple may eventually introduce a fee for users who wish to utilize the SOS option.
Under the agreement, Globalstar has committed to dedicating 85 percent of its existing and future network capacity to Apple’s iPhones. Globalstar will also be responsible for the personnel, software, satellite systems, and maintaining minimum quality and coverage standards. In preparation for the launch of the iPhone 14 series, Globalstar acquired satellite equipment worth $327 million from a Canadian company, with Apple providing a loan of $252 million to support this endeavor.
Emergency SOS via Satellite is currently accessible in several countries, including the United States, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, the UK, Austria, Belgium, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Australia, New Zealand, and Portugal.