LTE Apple Watches may be able to make emergency calls without linked iPhone plan

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Comments

  • Reply 21 of 30
    Cool.  BUT, if I have an iPhone cellular plan, my watch should be included and share the same service plan since it shares the same number!  I should NOT have to pay an extra $120/yr just to have cellular on my watch when it cannot have its own independent number!
    watto_cobralikethesky
  • Reply 22 of 30
    eightzero said:
    cali said:
    JFC_PA said:
    Logical: phone’s without plans are required by law to have access to emergency service numbers. 
    Right but the Watch is new tech.

    3-5 minutes? If Apple can get it connected to emergency services immediately, this is one more(BIG) reason to get a Watch with LTE.
    It is still a phone. In the US, by law, it has to be able to connect to 911 services even if it has no plan. 
    But how does that work?  I go to Target and buy a cellular capable Apple Watch--never sign up with AT&T or Verizon or anyone--and activate the 911 option.  How does the watch know what network to connect to?

    Obviously once I've linked things up to an iPhone that itself has an phone number and wireless provider, it's easy to keep using whatever the network is whether I cancel or not.  It's this limbo-like initial state that complicates things, right?
  • Reply 23 of 30
    In Canada, this is required by law too, FYI. 

    -MAS 
  • Reply 24 of 30
    misamisa Posts: 827member
    JFC_PA said:
    Logical: phone’s without plans are required by law to have access to emergency service numbers. 
    This is true, even outside the US. Any phone, SIM-card or not, can trigger an emergency call. 

    However it has limitations, being that:

    1) The 911 switching system does not know where you are, as there is no way to transmit telemetry, at best the 911 operator will see "call from (<areacode>-000-0000)", or some other number that is associated with the MSC.

    2) LTE calls will typically be made in VoLTE mode, which means that if VoLTE is not enabled, overloaded or not functioning for that sector, then it may simply get denied. 

    If you have an active LTE subscription, telemetry can be transmitted with the call.

    As for the iPad. These devices are provisioned as data devices, but technically they can make 911 calls too. There is just no way to do so from the device, though I suppose someone who JB's one could probably pull the phone "app" from an iPhone and run it on an iPad. Point of interest, you can "answer" a call made to an iPhone from your iPad, so it's not like it's not there. Just it's going over WiFi to the iPhone first.

    Cool.  BUT, if I have an iPhone cellular plan, my watch should be included and share the same service plan since it shares the same number!  I should NOT have to pay an extra $120/yr just to have cellular on my watch when it cannot have its own independent number!

    It doesn't actually. The way it's provisioned is more like an "extension" in the days of "multiple handsets, one number", in a cellular network system, the MSC looks for the device registered to that number, and if more than one device is registered to that number, it 'rings' all of them. This is how old Analog and 2G devices could be active on the same number, because both devices share the same keys due to being active when the key exchange took place, even though on GSM phones the IMEI and IMSI will be different.

    It's not really a complicated explanation unless you've never had a phone before the iphone.

    "cloned" GSM phones were a product of stealing the keys and allowing eavesdropping of phone calls because the MSC simply goes "call for phones with this key, anyone have this key?", so in this case with the apple watch, it's the same idea, though the actual "number" registered to the watch might be different, just like the "real phone number" for a data-only ipad is different.

    edited November 2017 randominternetperson
  • Reply 25 of 30
    I bought the non-LTE Watch 3 because I didn't want to pay 10 euros a month on top of a phone contract - and anyway, my deal here in France is with SFR, and only Orange are listed in this country with the cellular option. However, having had a major heart problem three years ago, and the occasional TIA, I would have certainly opted for the more expensive Watch 3 had I known at the time that this "emergency calling" by holding down a button was a possibility. Although living in the countryside has many advantages... there are disadvantages too when it comes needing the emergency services!
    As mentioned below, there are benefits to having the LTE-capable Apple Watch aside from connecting to LTE.  However, you are not required to activate the LTE and even if you do it’s on a month to month basis.  So if you need it this month turn it on and if you don’t need it again for another 6 months turn it off and don’t pay.
  • Reply 26 of 30
    Thanks @Misa.  Interesting stuff.
  • Reply 27 of 30
    macguimacgui Posts: 1,996member
    Apple needs to confirm or deny this.  

    The last thing we need is millions of idiots trying to test this, and tying up the operators.
    Like we had with the Emergency and SOS calling on the iPhone and earlier Apple Watches.

    Oh, wait, we didn't.
  • Reply 28 of 30
    macguimacgui Posts: 1,996member
    hentaiboy said:
    Yes 911 works in many countries even when the native emergency number is different. Blame the corruption of American TV shows and movies. 
    And no foreign visitor to the US ever dialed 000, 111, 999, etc., in an emergency.

    First, the Watch and phone will dial the correct local number based on their location when an SOS is activated.

    Second, I bet even the 'haughty' French and other peoples designed their emergency systems to work with other countries' three-digit EMS numbers because stress reduces clear thinking in non-professionals, non-first responders, and not because 'theeeese stupid AmeriCANS watch too much of theee TeeeVeeeee!'

    Being an EU country means routinely getting a lot of visitor traffic from many countries that have their own EMS number.

    And if somebody, say a child learns how to administer the Heimlich Maneuver or dial 911 and saves a life all because of something they saw on TV or a movie, than I applaud all involved. And if they don't grow up to post stupid, denigrating, condescending posts in forums, so much the better.
    edited November 2017
  • Reply 29 of 30
    macgui said:
    Apple needs to confirm or deny this.  

    The last thing we need is millions of idiots trying to test this, and tying up the operators.
    Like we had with the Emergency and SOS calling on the iPhone and earlier Apple Watches.

    Oh, wait, we didn't.
    A friend of mine is a police dispatcher (and Apple Watch wearer) and was very annoyed when Apple announced the emergency calling feature. She was convinced she would be getting a ton of calls from people accidentally calling 911 from their Watch. 

    Separately, I’m friends with a guy at the gym who just picked up a first gen Apple Watch to try out. He was telling me that within the first week he accidentally triggered the a 911 call. He figures the Watch and iPhone turned off by holding the side button. Instead of swiping “Power Off” he just continued to hold the button, I have no idea why. He was shocked when the Massachusetts State Police picked up. He said the officer he spoke with said they get a decent amount of accidental calls from Apple Watches and the officer also figures once people get to know how it works that sort of thing will happen less often. 
  • Reply 30 of 30
    glynhglynh Posts: 133member
    On a second test after installing watchOS 4.2 beta 3, the poster managed to get in contact with 911 after waiting 3 minutes -- having been encouraged by an Apple representative to wait up to 5. It's not clear if the OS update had any impact.
    3-5 minutes? That's no good...the battery will be flat by then! :) /s
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