Mar 14 2019 The Race For Location Accuracy


NG9-1-1 location accuracy

The race for location accuracy to 2021 is on!

Back in 2015, the FCC passed a rule requiring carriers to deliver more accurate location data for 80% of calls by 2021. What seemed to be a pie in the sky is slowly becoming a reality.

US regulators caution that 10,000 lives could be saved each year if the 911 emergency dispatching systems were able to get to callers one minute faster.

This year there has been several announcements that are building up to delivering improved location accuracy for emergency calls to 9-1-1. I am sure everyone has asked the question at some point, If Uber and Facebook can find me how come 9-1-1 and first responders cannot? The technology is getting there from a handset perspective, but a lot must happen for the information to reach a PSAP.

In a previous blog we talked about Google’s location accuracy. Following Google’s announcement, earlier this year Apple had a similar announcement where they added Advanced Mobile Location (AML) to iOS 11.3. AML allows emergency services dispatchers to automatically pin-point the location of someone making a 9-1-1 call. It takes data from both GPS and WiFi chips to automatically transmit a location so precisely that it cannot only identify the exact address, but sometimes even narrow down the location to a specific room.

Next Generation 9-1-1 mapping

AML’s greatest benefit is zero setup: it requires no downloads or any effort on behalf of the user. The solution automatically kicks into action when you make an emergency call.

A recent study conducted by the European project consortium Help 112 showed that AML could save over 7,500 lives and 95 billion EUR (approximately $117 billion) over ten years if AML would get deployed across the EU for all iOS and Android devices.

The next step now is for wireless carriers to start leveraging this new data available to their users to pass the location information to the PSAP. There are now a few wireless carriers that have started testing the advanced location data and they are working together with the handset providers to deliver the data to the PSAPs.

The last step of delivering the advance location data to the PSAP is addressed as part of the i3 standard where a regional or statewide Emergency Services IP Network(ESINet) will handle the routing and delivery of the caller location information to the right PSAP.

As a PSAP it is important to start considering replacing your Call Handling Solution and a Next Generation ready solution to receive the advanced location data and start engaging your wireless carriers to understand the availability of this data in your region.