Bell says Apple Watch Series 3 ‘may not be able to’ supply location to 9-1-1 operators when on LTE

Apple Watch Series 3

Bell says that the Apple Watch Series 3 LTE “may not be able” to supply the longitude and latitude location to 9-1-1 operators when the smartwatch is not paired to an iPhone via Bluetooth.

The Canadian carrier continues by stating that in the event of an emergency, 9-1-1 Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) will contact Bell to obtain the necessary longitude and latitude information.

All other enhanced 9-1-1 functions are available through the Apple Watch Series 3 LTE, including the ability to for 9-1-1 operators to access the caller’s phone number and their location in relation to the nearest cell tower, according to Bell.

Bell is working on solving the Series 3 LTE’s 9-1-1 longitude and latitude issue and says that it will have a solution “as soon as possible.” Customers with questions regarding the Series 3 LTE’s 9-1-1 functionality are asked to call 310-BELL. It’s likely that this issue related to a Bell network problem and does not have anything to do with the Seres 3’s hardware or software.

While the Apple Watch Series 3 is generally a worthy upgrade to Apple’s smartwatch line, some early reviews have cited issues with the wearable’s LTE connectivity. Bell is currently the only Canadian carrier that offers Series 3 LTE functionality through the carrier’s $5 per month ‘Numbershare’ add-on, which also features a one-time activation fee of $10.

Telus has confirmed to MobileSyrup that the carrier will eventually offer similar number sharing plans for the Apple Watch Series 3 in the future. It’s unclear if other Canadian carriers, particularly Rogers, will also eventually offer Series 3 LTE add-on plans.

During my time with the Apple Watch Series 3, I encountered a brief LTE signal outage when not tethered to the iPhone 8 via Bluetooth, though the issue quickly resolved itself a few minutes later.

Apple recently released a statement regarding the Series 3’s connectivity issues, explaining that they relate to when the wearable is attempting to join an authenticated Wi-Fi network, which apparently causes the watch to stop using cellular connectivity.

“We have discovered that when Apple Watch Series 3 joins unauthenticated Wi-Fi networks without connectivity, it may at times prevent the watch from using cellular. We are investigating a fix for a future software release,” writes Apple in its official statement.

We’ve reached out to Apple for comment on the Series 3’s 9-1-1 location issues and will update this story when we hear back. For more information about the Apple Watch Series 3, check out my full review of the wearable.

Update 10/04/17: Apple has released an update that solves the Apple Watch Series 3 LTE’s connectivity issues.

Source: Bell


  • Patrick O'Rourke

    Patrick O'Rourke is passionate about Apple products, video games and photography. He's covered the tech industry for various publications since 2007. patrick@mobilesyrup.com