If you’ve been tasked with choosing an E9-1-1 solution for your enterprise, it can be tempting to set up an on-site notification alert and have emergency responders receive the location details they need once they arrive on-site. While this strategy seems to be able to keep your organization safe, make no mistake: implementing notification alerts on their own as an E9-1-1 solution can place your organization and your employees in grave danger. For E9-1-1, relaying an accurate, dispatchable address to the Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) is essential; this ensures that first responders arrive with the information they need to quickly locate and help the caller.
By Nicole Pianalto, Sr. Support Engineer, West, Safety Services
Have you noticed? A wave of downsizing is sweeping across the country in the form of the Tiny House. According to The Tiny Life website, the typical American home is around 2,600 square feet, whereas the typical small or tiny house is between 100 and 400 square feet. Smaller houses are easier to clean and maintain; they require less land and allow more time for experiences. I like the idea that our culture may be headed in a direction that indicates experiences are more important than things.
By John Snapp VP of Technology for West, Safety Services
A significant goal was achieved in 2009 when a public safety answering point (PSAP) located in the basement of a county jail in Waterloo, Iowa, accepted the first ever text message to 9-1-1. The Blackhawk County center made history when they successfully received a simple message to send help.
Today, thanks to the voluntary commitment of the carriers to enable the support and routing of text-to-911 calls, PSAPs can prepare their centers to accept and respond to 9-1-1 text messages. Industry leaders have developed standards and hundreds of PSAPs have registered with the FCC to certify their readiness to accept text messages.
By David Peck, Sr. Account Executive, West, Safety Services
An integrated approach to Geographic Information Systems (GIS) is essential to Next Generation 9-1-1 (NG9-1-1) Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs). There are many benefits to be realized – geospatial routing, data sharing, precise address referencing and more.
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9-1-1 is the most essential service your end users will ever require. As enterprises move towards adopting new technology platforms like Avaya Aura 7.0, there are obvious and important benefits behind those business decisions: increased communication and collaboration, better security, ease-of-administration and decreased total cost of ownership. At West, our job is to make sure our customers who are making IP-PBX purchases or upgrades don’t overlook 9-1-1.
Last month, West’s Emergency Gateway (EGW) received a Letter of Compliance for Avaya Aura Session Manager 7.0 and Avaya Aura Communication Manager 7.0. West has been a Technology Partner in the Avaya DevConnect program since 2007. Our ongoing collaboration with Avaya helps us to deliver products and services that are designed and rigorously tested to seamlessly integrate with Avaya platforms, providing our customers with an enhanced level of confidence in our products’ interoperability and ease of deployment. Read More >
The holiday season is officially under way. If you are like me, you are probably in a frenzy trying to complete your projects before year end and your weekends and evenings are booked with activities, holiday shopping, office parties, and friend and family get-together.
As the year draws to a close, I wanted to use this time to say thanks to our wonderful staff, customers, suppliers and you, our loyal readers. The closing of the year also represents a good time to reflect, count our blessings and take stock for tomorrow. Read More >
Last month we hosted a webinar, Building a Smarter Internet of Things, with Frost & Sullivan and our partner, Gemalto. Our panelists covered a lot of ground in 60 minutes, so I wanted to share some of the takeaways from our conversation around public safety.
Connected devices are all M2M but may not be part of the IoT.
A common misconception is that M2M and IoT are interchangeable terms, but in fact, they have very distinct meanings. M2M (Machine to Machine) describes devices and sensors that communicate with each other via any form of networking i.e., a cell phone connecting via Bluetooth to a car’s stereo.
IOT (Internet of Things) refers to the broad network of these devices communicating with each other, making decisions based on pre-determined thresholds and sending alerts to humans, allowing informed decision-making to create a safer world.
For instance, if a minor fender-bender causes traffic to come to a stop at an intersection, crash sensors in the vehicles can send data to first responders, helping them to prepare a response. Also, sensors in the road and traffic cameras can automatically send information to GPS satellites, re-routing traffic until the accident is cleared.
In the above scenario, each of these connections is a machine talking to a machine but the sensors are all connected to a larger network of objects, allowing them to be part of the Internet of Things and creating a much greater ability to communicate important information.
The infrastructure for a connected world is being built and implemented today.
The future of IoT involves communication on a massive scale. Networks, devices and sensors are slowing being connected to one another. The more the network grows, the more powerful a tool it will become to help create a safer world.
11 major cities across the US are currently developing or implementing a smart city infrastructure. Soon, data from healthcare, government, waste management, traffic cameras, first responders, utilities, railroads, etc. will be aggregated and analyzed to allow for faster, more informed decision making during emergency conditions.
As LTE networks are built out, rural areas are being integrated into the larger network, allowing authorities to track train shipments, truckloads of dangerous materials and improve emergency response times in remote locations. Of course, this infrastructure will take time to develop full potential, but the good news is that those efforts are well underway.
Data and information security are at the forefront of IoT design and infrastructure.
Standards associations, such as the GSMA, are already releasing IoT security guidelines to be built into IoT infrastructure. Collaboration between industry associations and vendor communities plays a huge role in the development of new IoT technologies and how they are secured.
Data security needs to be balanced against the value of the data. For instance, data such as the current weather conditions requires less protection than a patient’s health record data being pushed to an EMT’s tablet or other smart device. Recognizing the difference between these two scenarios and being able to have the hardware intelligently assess those distinctions will help create more secure methods of sending information without adding too much overhead.
Networks are being designed to handle increased traffic from M2M connections.
With the use of several different networks, including LTE, MTC, LTE Cat 0 and IoT (narrowband) LTE, traffic can now be spread out depending on the need and location. In addition, the technology already exists to prioritize the most relevant traffic through the network. For example, calls to 9-1-1 have priority in a cellular network over non-emergency calls. A similar protocol is being utilized for IoT signals to allow critical information to get to the appropriate responder.
Devices are also being designed to “behave themselves,” meaning they are built with a level of intelligence allowing them to send only relevant data. These thresholds can be programmed ahead of time with platforms like Emergency Aware Services (EAS), allowing for proper network utilization and to keep data traffic from becoming overwhelming.
Without question, these technology developments are going to revolutionize public safety over the next few years and, ultimately, protect and save lives. If you’d like to learn more about the IoT evolution, you can watch the entire webinar on demand here.
If you’d like to learn more about Emergency Aware Services from West, you can visit our website here.
We are very pleased to announce that Intrado/911 Enable will be re-branded as “West”. This change will take place during the first quarter of 2016.
West develops technology-enabled communications that change the way we work and improve the way we live. The company manages complex, mission-critical communications for their clients and delivers operational and service excellence at extraordinary scale and across multiple verticals. Read More >
TDI (formally known as Telecommunications for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing) is a national advocacy organization focused on equal access issues in telecommunications and media. Every two years, TDI recognizes various individuals, organizations and corporations for their efforts to promote equal access to telecommunications, media and information technologies.
TDI’s Robert H. Weitbrecht Telecommunications Access Award is bestowed on individuals who’ve made outstanding contributions to improve accessibility to telecommunications and media in the U.S. I’d like to congratulate Richard Ray and Donna Platt as recent recipients of this award. As a lifetime advocate for equal access to 9-1-1 and a proud recipient of the TDI award, I’ve had the pleasure of working with many individuals who share my passion that no individual be denied access to emergency services.
Richard has spent his entire career advocating for equal rights. He is the ADA Compliance Coordinator for the City of Los Angeles Department on Disability and has helped jurisdictions across the country with various issues and projects such as Emergency Notification Systems, Personal Caller Information, VRS/IP Relay Service, and Text to 9-1-1. He became a member of the NENA Accessibility Committee, and I was thrilled when the late NENA President Bill McMurray appointed Richard to chair the committee in 2006.
Donna Platt was asked to join NENA and jumped at the chance to serve on the NENA Accessibility Committee. In 2007, NENA advanced their committee structure and Donna became co-chair with Richard. Donna trained Washington State’s 9-1-1 professionals under a contract with the Community Service Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (CSCDHH), and now is the Emergency Preparedness Coordinator with the NC Division of Services for Deaf and Hard of Hearing. She, too, has shared her expertise with emergency communication professionals across the country.
Together, these two have been unafraid to take the issues head on and have garnered the respect of 9-1-1 professionals nationwide. Both are recognized leaders serving various roles with the FCC and other entities, and I could not be prouder that these two amazing people have been recognized for all their hard work. Congratulations Richard and Donna!
Toni Dunne, ENP, is Manager of External Affairs at Intrado.
When I’ve spoken with non-nationwide carriers recently, I’ve noticed that there are more and more concerns about Voice over LTE (VoLTE), especially when discussing E9-1-1 for VoLTE. Questions vary widely. Here’s a list of six key areas (in no particular order) before embarking on a VoLTE project.
- If your network is hosted, develop your VoLTE project plan with your IMS core and UTRAN solution provider(s) and, if you’re already working with Intrado, include us in the 9-1-1 portion of the project plan. Specifically for VoLTE E9-1-1, you’ll need to consider the call path changes in your IMS core and new signaling e.g. diameter.
- Consider location servers for Phase 2 location. You’ll need either an eSMLC network for E9-1-1 location or you’ll need to identify a solution provider, like Intrado, for hosted eSMLC.
- Start the conversation early about SIP for voice path and signaling to your MME for location. The right partner should review all the signaling and connections needed to support VoLTE E9-1-1. Choose a provider that supports the signaling connection needed to support home and roaming device location queries in their MME. Remember, VoLTE is a new voice path that is IP-based (or SIP) and uses new signaling for location queries to and from the eSMLC to the MME and the devices.
- Create a network checklist for all the regulatory requirements and changes that have to be supported with VoLTE i.e., E9-1-1 and CALEA. It’s essential to engage with the right provider early for planning and testing interoperability of your IMS voice core and MME.
- As most carriers know, the customer voice call experience is key to a successful VoLTE launch. Not all devices are equal, so you’ll need to look at VoLTE support in your device ecosystem. We encourage testing each VoLTE device out to the cell site edge to ensure you don’t lose significant coverage when you migrate your customers from 3G voice to VoLTE. Beyond providing the best call quality possible, the new FCC rules on wireless indoor location means location technology support is more critical than ever.
- Network location performance is a crucial component to a successful VoLTE launch. You need to consider tools that help you optimize location performance on your network, such as Intrado’s Location Performance Management (LPM) solution. This tool helps carriers meet compliance for coming changes in E9-1-1 accuracy, as well as enhancing overall commercial location performance on your network. You’ll be able to pinpoint which 3G areas are optimal to turn down first—and you’ll improve your overall customer experience as you roll out exciting new services with VoLTE.
Want to learn more about upgrading to VoLTE? Contact us at email@example.com or visit us at booth #217 at CCA 2015, October 7-9 in Fort Lauderdale.