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vinay427

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Sep 18, 2008
746
48
Hey all,

I searched for a long while and still couldn't find a direct answer to this question, so maybe someone here has experienced this and would be able to help me with my buying decision. As concisely as possible:

Background:
  1. I know there are two separate Apple Watch cellular (SE or S7) regional variants based on differing LTE bands. Source: https://www.apple.com/uk/watch/cellular/
  2. Also, it's well known that various countries in both regions support Apple's international emergency calling feature. Source: https://www.apple.com/uk/watchos/feature-availability/#branded-international-emergency
My question: does a US/Canada-market cellular Apple Watch support emergency calling in the other region in which it lacks LTE band support? For example, could it make an emergency call in Finland or Taiwan, presumably without a local data plan seeing as data services are likely unsupported? Or even in countries like the UK or Germany, which from what I understand require a registered (local or foreign) SIM?
Equivalently, would a UK-market cellular Apple Watch support emergency calling in the US or Canada?

I found a bunch of answers in forum posts or other online comments that answer similar questions, but don't confirm this one, and it would really help me decide whether the cellular version is worth the extra cost for me. Any help would be much appreciated!
 

Monkswhiskers

macrumors 6502
Feb 6, 2018
388
273
I think it is a hardware issue so for emergency calling without a cell plan I presume the 6 and 7 can do it but not the others.
 

vinay427

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Sep 18, 2008
746
48
Thanks for your answer. However, my question is specifically about the inter-region emergency calling support given that the Series 6 and 7 also lack LTE band support in the other region. LTE isn't needed for calls on almost any network, so I'm curious whether a watch from one region (including most of the Americas) would still be able to place an emergency call in the other region (including most of Europe and Asia) even if data doesn't work.
 

vinay427

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Sep 18, 2008
746
48
I appreciate the response. That is the article I linked in my post as well, and my confusion stems from the ambiguity between this article and the other one I linked: https://www.apple.com/uk/watch/cellular/
To cover the LTE and UMTS bands used around the world, there are two separate cellular models for Apple Watch Series 7 and Apple Watch SE. They have been optimised for use in the country of purchase, and not all models work in all countries or regions. There is no single model that supports cellular service worldwide.
That's why I was hoping to hear a first-hand experience of someone that knows whether the emergency calling works in a region where Apple claims cellular service wouldn't normally be supported.
 

Mayco

macrumors newbie
Jul 14, 2020
10
11
I appreciate the response. That is the article I linked in my post as well, and my confusion stems from the ambiguity between this article and the other one I linked: https://www.apple.com/uk/watch/cellular/

That's why I was hoping to hear a first-hand experience of someone that knows whether the emergency calling works in a region where Apple claims cellular service wouldn't normally be supported.
Sorry, I completely missed that somehow, my bad.

Unfortunately I don't have first-hand experience. I figured that emergency services utilized some of the common bands supported by both variants (for example, UMTS 2100 MHz, 1900 MHz, 1700/2100 MHz, and 850 MHz according to Apple's website), but I cannot confirm that that's actually the case.

As a side note, it's still not clear to me why my European AW can connect to cellular in my own country, but does not support roaming in other European countries despite having the right antennas and supposedly supports calling emergency services there.
 

mk313

macrumors 65816
Feb 6, 2012
1,411
672
I have no idea what cellular bands are used in Finland or Taiwan, but the US/Canada version should work in any country where it can pick up a signal (where Apple lists that is compatible). I'd imagine that in most countries, the US/Canada watch should pick up at least one local cellular band, so you should get some coverage, but it would likely be more limited than you'd get with the local version. For instance, the international version is missing band 12, which is the main Verizon band in the US, so you would still get coverage, but not as widespread as you'd get with the local version.
 
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mk313

macrumors 65816
Feb 6, 2012
1,411
672
As a side note, it's still not clear to me why my European AW can connect to cellular in my own country, but does not support roaming in other European countries despite having the right antennas and supposedly supports calling emergency services there.

I read here onetime that the issues is with the provisioning. The Apple Watch has a phone number, but it's not really a phone number. The watch is attached to your phone, and if you call your phone # it rings through to the watch. But if you call your watch #, it won't go through. The issue is that this provisioning doesn't carry through for international roaming.
 
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