If our phone doesn’t have any bars, how can you still call for help? Will the “Emergency Calls Only” work?

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If our phone doesn’t have any bars, how can you still call for help? Will the “Emergency Calls Only” work?

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9 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

You can still make emergency calls without network signal. When the phone has no signal from its provider’s network, an emergency call will automatically connect to the strongest network that it can find to allow the emergency calls going through. However, since it is not your network, you cannot make other calls.

basically your phone will find the nearest and strongest network aside from your provider if it’s an emergency call

in other words, an emergency call can use any kind of network available.

for more emergency-er communication where you’re stranded in a place without any network *at all*, like being away from civilization, there’s also satellite communication, but I think you need some special satellite phone for it since not all smartphones support this (CMIMW)

Anonymous 0 Comments

Having no bars and not being able to call does not necisarily mean that your phone can not reach any base stations. However these might be for other operators or it is already busy with other calls and traffic. When you make an emergency call these checks are waived. You might end up calling through another operator or you might end up disconnecting other peoples calls but your call will go through.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Normally when you try to make a call, cell networks will refuse to transmit your call if the phone you’re calling from does not subscribe to their service. It’s not so much that your phone is *incapable* of using those networks as much as just that the networks themselves won’t allow you. Your phone shows no bars because there might as well be no bars, even thought there are – just no bars it can use.

For emergency calls though, carriers are [legally obligated by the FCC](https://www.ecfr.gov/current/title-47/chapter-I/subchapter-A/part-9/subpart-C#p-9.10(b)) to transmit all 911 calls. So if you dial 911, your phone is allowed to use any network it’s physically capable of reaching.

This won’t help if you’re somewhere so remote that there’s just no carrier at all within range.

Anonymous 0 Comments

iPhone SOS feature is with a different satellite system. It’s new and limited so emergency is prioritized.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Many areas without regular cell coverage still have coverage by emergency cell networks that may not be operated by regular cell providers. In addition to handling emergency calls, these may also give cell service to things like ambulances, police, rescue workers and the likes.

In addition, all cell network are required to handle emergency calls even if it comes from phones that don’t belong to their customers (assuming they support the right frequencies), so if you’re on AT&T but there’s only t-mobile coverage where you are, your phone will connect to the t-mo cell tower but display “emergency calls only” because the t-mo cell tower won’t allow any other transmissions.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Your bars are the strength to the connection of YOUR cell phone provider’s network. In an emergency, it will connect to any communication network.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Just because your phone doesn’t have any bars, doesn’t mean another phone on a different carrier wouldn’t have bars either. If there’s absolutely no signal then you’re out of luck, but if there’s any possible signal, your phone just isn’t allowed to access it, emergency calls are allowed to go through those signals you normally wouldn’t be allowed to use.

Anonymous 0 Comments

PSA: the emergency phone number for landlines varies from country to country, but for mobiles it’s 112 in nearly every country.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Because emergency calls have to be allowed on any carrier’s network, not just the network you have your cell phone plan with. E.g. you can call 911 and the call could be handled by AT&T towers even if you have a Verizon phone.

This is also true for landlines that are functional but don’t have paid service (i.e. your house has a landline but you don’t pay for landline service bc you only use your cell phone) – if you plug in a land line phone you can use it to call 911.