location has never been so accurate

Partner Feature: The ability to quickly, accurately and reliably determine the location of calls made to emergency services from a mobile phone can be a matter of life or death. Emergency mobile calls take longer than fixed calls and each year around 300,000 victims experience a delay of at least 30 minutes in the EU due to the lack of accurate caller location information, according to The European Emergency Numbering said the Help112 study published by the association. (EENA) in 2017 (of which more later in this article). Ideally, the location process would be fully automated as speed is of the essence in an emergency, and any human interaction would slow down the location process.

With the overwhelming majority of emergency calls, more than 80% in the European Union, being made on mobile phones, many countries have mandated mobile network operators (MNOs) to provide an emergency caller location service. Regulatory compliance for emergency caller location is an effective driver for the deployment of location technology. Even today, however, there are MNOs without suitable solutions, and one such offender was recently fined $19.5 million through 2021 for noncompliance.

In the European Union MNOs were mandated in the early part of this century to provide cell ID of callers to emergency services. The process of obtaining the cell ID is well understood, but is not always implemented today. Also, the cell location can be up to 500+ meters in dense urban areas and up to 35 kilometers in remote areas. Improved accuracy could help reduce rescue times, increase survival rates, and save billions in emergency response costs. Enter Advanced Mobile Location (AML).

What is Enhanced Mobile Location?
AML, originally devised by BT (UK) with Creativity Software (now part of the SS8 network) as a consultant, combines network and device-based technologies. Using GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System), Cell ID information and Wi-Fi, AML has for some time been seen as the simplest and fastest method to implement high accuracy in location technology for emergency services. Was. When someone dials 999, 911 or 112, the phone goes into emergency mode, all normal control rules are overwritten, even if a privacy-aware caller has disabled elements such as GNSS, AML can override this, data Can access and share it with emergency services.

EENA’s HELP112 project and report unveil real-world scenarios that demonstrate the significant benefits of high accuracy in emergency services and found that each mobile emergency call is answered on average 30 seconds and on average more than 1.5 minutes in rural environments Savings can be made.

During a live AML trial in Lithuania, a seven-year-old boy found his father unconscious and called emergency services but did not know his location. The Cell ID location gave a 14km radius to the Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP), but thanks to testing, high accuracy AML data was available. This enabled an ambulance to be dispatched without delay to reach and treat the patient for the seizure, thereby saving a life that would otherwise have been likely to be lost.

AML is an innovative technology, but it is not and should not be deployed as the only solution. Due to device and various environmental factors, accurate location determination can be anywhere between 40% and 60% successful for an AML-enabled call – which can sometimes mean that it may not provide location information to the PSAP in a timely manner. getting, if at all.

Most PSAPs want a placement success rate better than 50%, especially in a life-threatening emergency. Even though AML has helped advance the emergency services space, it still has two challenges, the reliance on GNSS and Wi-Fi. In dense urban areas with large buildings, the reliability of GNSS is reduced. AML relies on Wi-Fi in these areas, but it is an open-source resource with no real audits for the location of Wi-Fi nodes.

Next Generation Technology and Regulatory Roadmap
AML provides significant improvement over the accuracy of older cell ID levels. But 50% success rates (and sluggish response times) are still far from ideal. Industry, led by the US FCC, is pushing for the 80th percentile—that is, 80+% of all emergency calls must provide a PSAP with a dispatchable location (<50m error). The SS8 combines both mobile network and handset data with intelligent logic and patented location algorithms, to produce the highest possible accuracy and reliability. The more information you can feed into the engine, the more accurate your location results will be.

So, as we increasingly have the technology to deliver more accurate location information, what’s stopping MNOs from rolling it out? When it comes to network investing, there are two major considerations for MNOs, commercial and regulatory. Location falls into both categories, but it is undeniably regulatory requirements that are their main drivers.

The next major regulatory requirement for the location is under consultation in Europe. MNOs in the European Union have been asked to provide feedback on how to improve location accuracy for emergency services by the end of 2023. It is expected that national governments in the EU and beyond will take note of the feedback and mandate the provision of high-accuracy location solutions. It has been left up to emergency services MNOs to deploy technology that is up to the job or face massive fines, as in the $19.5m case already cited.

In SS8’s recent conversations with MNOs, governments and law enforcement agencies, one thing has become clear: there is a need for much education regarding the available technology that can provide the high-accuracy and reliable space on which these organizations depend. The value of this technology is demonstrable and measurable, as it has been deployed in North America and parts of Latin America.

Bake location deployment into 5G rollout
Convincing MNOs to adopt game-changing technology is a bit tougher today, given that we’re at least two years away from 5G becoming mandatory. The fact that most MNOs today are covered from a regulatory perspective has pushed high-accuracy location deployment further back on the list of priorities which turns 5G rollout on its head.

However, this may be the right time to roll out high accuracy location technology. 5G could completely transform location, with the potential for even greater accuracy, as good as or better than GNSS levels of accuracy.

MNOs enjoy the competitive advantage of being out of the gate with any new technology. They will love the prestigious advantage of being able to say they are the most secure network, supporting emergency services with the highest reliable, fastest access available today.

MNOs are in a unique position. They have the opportunity to get ahead of the game and save lives. It is likely that the higher accuracy location mandated by the FCC in the US will be followed by the EU and the rest of the world. Make location your number one priority. Combine the social good of life-saving high accuracy with the business opportunities that high accuracy location enables.

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