The AT&T CallVantage p.r. machine is in high gear about a new AT&T CallVantage nomadic E911 solution called Heartbeat. Today's USAToday even has a feature story about it. AT&T Solves VoIPs 911 Issue, the article is slugged.
Sorry, USAToday, but you are wrong. This is a step in the right direction, but not the solution. Maybe not even a solution.
Here's the scoop. When CallVantage users power down, AT&T's network will automatically suspend VoIP service. Once the user plugs their adapter back in, CallVantage will ask the user to verify their location.
If the user verifies their location as the same one that is on record, service will be restored instantly. If the user says they have moved, they wil be sent to a Web page to register the new location.
Well, it's a start, but only that. What if, when you arrive at your new location, you figure, OK, you won't need E911, plus you don't have the time to go to a web page and make all these changes.
Then, you go to sleep. You wake up in the middle of the night, quite ill or injured. Then what? Because you haven't taken the time to weigh in with your new location, CallVantage - and by extension emergency responders- won't know where you really are.
Plus, if you are sick or injured, do you really want to go through a Web process you should have done the night before but didn't?
Nomadic VoIP won't work to its most efficient potential until it is totally, seamlessly, intuitively integrated with GPS-enabled presence. That presence doesn't only have to be in the network, it has to be in the device you are using to access VoIP.