Improved location information for mobile calls to Triple Zero (000)
Sydney, 16 December 2014 – In a step forward for the Triple Zero (000) service in Australia, emergency services organisations can now obtain automatic access to improved information about the location of Australians who dial Triple Zero (000) seeking help from a mobile.
New capabilities put in place by all Australian mobile phone carriers (Telstra, Optus and Vodafone) and by Telstra as the Emergency Call Person for 000 mean they can now automatically send enhanced location information about the caller based on the adjacent mobile cell tower sites to Police, Fire and Ambulance Services that have implemented the capability. This enhanced location information has the potential to save time in locating and reaching people in life threatening emergency situations.
John Stanton, CEO of Communications Alliance said the improvements announced today would allow emergency services to access additional location information on a caller’s whereabouts in emergencies.
“Currently mobile calls account for around 66 per cent of calls made to Triple Zero. Until now, emergency calls from mobile phones have not automatically provided location information in relation to the adjacent mobile cell towers that the emergency call is being made from,” said Mr Stanton.
“This is not an issue for the majority of mobile calls made to Triple Zero, as in most cases the caller can tell the emergency service organisation where they are located, but there are times when callers are distressed, injured, confused or unfamiliar with their surrounding environment – making it difficult for them to report their location.”
This initiative has been made possible by a collaborative effort between the carriers and the Emergency Call Person, along with support from the Australian Communications and Media Authority, the Telecommunications Universal Service Management Agency and the Department of Communications.
“The ACMA has been keen to facilitate this initiative and welcomes the introduction of this new industry capability. We recognise the investment of significant resources and expertise by the mobile carriers and national Triple Zero service operator to deliver this important public safety initiative” said ACMA Chairman, Chris Chapman.
“The progressive implementation of these new capabilities by emergency service organisations over the next nine months is expected to deliver further public benefit and assist in reducing the emergency response times for emergency callers as information about the location of the caller relative to the adjacent mobile cell towers is automatically sent to the emergency service organisations with the corresponding customer information” Mr Stanton said.
Mr Stanton noted however, that it is still important for callers to describe their location when making an emergency call as the carrier’s best fix on location will identify an approximate area for caller location which will vary depending on the number of mobile cell towers in an area and surrounding terrain (e.g., buildings, hills, trees).
The Emergency Call Person for Triple Zero is currently working closely with emergency service organisations in each state and territory to facilitate the rollout of the additional location information. A number of these organisations have indicated they are looking forward to using the enhanced location information over the approaching summer months and wet season.
Communications Alliance is the primary telecommunications industry body in Australia. Its membership is drawn from a wide cross-section of the communications industry, including carriers, carriage and internet service providers, content providers,search engines, equipment vendors, IT companies, consultants and business groups.
Its vision is to provide a unified voice for the telecommunications industry and to lead it into the next generation of converging networks, technologies and services. The prime mission of Communications Alliance is to promote the growth of the Australian communications industry and the protection of consumer interests by fostering the highest standards of business ethics and behaviour through industry self-governance. For more details about Communications Alliance, see www.commsalliance.com.au.
Media information contact:
Kreab Gavin Anderson
0402 106 613