Carriers provide mobile locations to 000

Carriers provide mobile locations to 000

Summary: New regulations will see mobile carriers providing precise location information to emergency services to help locate people who can't identify where they are.

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TOPICS: Mobility
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New regulations will see mobile carriers providing precise location information to emergency services to help locate people who can't identify where they are.

"The ACMA's new rules enable emergency service organisations to access the most precise location information that is currently available on the mobile networks and also to automatically capture the benefits from any future developments in location-based services offered by the mobile carriers," acting Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) chairman Richard Bean said in a statement.

Most callers who contact triple zero tell the operator where they are, but sometimes (estimated at less than 1 per cent of calls) the caller is too distressed or at a loss to pass on their location.

The new rules require carriers to provide the most precise location information they have available on a caller if asked by an emergency services organisation, with these requests to be classed as high priority and be given a dedicated process.

The function will start on 20 April 2011, which allows carriers time to trial their systems before making the information available to all emergency service organisations.

ACMA is also considering implementing a system to provide automatic provision of precise mobile location for mobile calls.

The new rules were created following consultation with mobile carriers and emergency services organisations.

However, AMCA cautioned Australians that mobile coverage is not ubiquitous and that having a mobile does not guarantee their being located in an emergency.

Topic: Mobility

Suzanne Tindal

About Suzanne Tindal

Suzanne Tindal cut her teeth at ZDNet.com.au as the site's telecommunications reporter, a role that saw her break some of the biggest stories associated with the National Broadband Network process. She then turned her attention to all matters in government and corporate ICT circles. Now she's taking on the whole gamut as news editor for the site.

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2 comments
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  • Even though this is only a trial at this point, it is an excellent idea. I'd like to know, though, how accurate they can go. If it is within 10-20 metres even, this would be a great help to the emergency services operators, the front-line staff, and to the person in need of help.

    One question to ask, though, is why it has taken so long to implement this? Under emergency conditions, this information should be readily available so that the emergency crew can readily despatch without hassle.
    dmh_paul
  • Carriers consider it an additional "extra" to provide a Caller ID to another carrier, particularly across the mobile/land-line interface. The inbuilt privacy functions on the mobile should only permit the sending of GPS information to "000", "911" and/or "999" etc.

    All mobile phones carry some sort of GPS locator for post-9/11 forensic purposes, so why don't all consumers have access to this information on their own phones?

    People should also be aware that photos taken on mobile phones contain a GPS tag!
    Treknology