Category: E9-1-1 Services


Category: E9-1-1 Services
West Corporation

Posted on April 26, 2018 by West Corporation 


Q&A: The Revolution of Wireless 911 Location Technologies

By John Snapp, VP of Technology

Earlier this month, I presented to carriers and PSAPs about new solutions that promise a better location earlier in the 9-1-1 call flow. I also spoke about the methodology and results from West’s location testing and trials with Google’s Android-based ELS (handset-initiated location).

The following addresses the questions I wasn’t able to respond to during the live event.

Q: We received many similar questions around the timing and availability of the wireless 9-1-1 location technologies discussed. Many asked, when will these solutions be made available? How soon will PSAPs start to benefit from the improved location? What are the potential implementation impacts to carriers and PSAPs?

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West Corporation

Posted on March 1, 2018 by West Corporation 


What is E911 and Why Should My Enterprise Care?

Enhanced 911, or E911, is a technology that allows for the automatic delivery of a 911 caller’s location in addition to their phone number with their 911 call. When a call taker at a Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) receives a 911 call, they know where the caller is and where to send help because that caller’s location is displayed right on their screen. This is particularly critical in those emergencies where a caller can’t speak: medical emergencies, emergencies in progress, etc. The question is, do businesses need to pay special attention to how E911 functions in the enterprise?

911 is so entrenched in our daily life that it often gets forgotten in the discussion around Unified Communications (UC). As enterprises embark on the project of selecting a new UC platform, implementing softphones, or migrating to a hybrid or cloud-based UC solution, they may only realize that they’ve critically impacted their ability to deliver 911 calls when it’s too late.

How does UC impact 911?

When enterprises move to UC, they are consolidating their trunks into a central data center. Before IP communications, calls would go out through the local trunks and gateways that were set up for each office. Part of the attraction to moving to UC is that enterprises can eliminate these trunks and gateways in favour of centralized SIP trunks. And because call signalling is IP-based, users can now access the corporate voice network from softphones at home or on the road – so they don’t even need to be on the enterprises premises to stay connected.

A consequence of this flexibility, however, is that when someone from a branch office or an off-site location calls 911, their call gets delivered to the PSAP serving the data center location and not their actual location. First responders have no idea where the caller actually is, and if the caller isn’t in a position to advise the 911 call taker of their true location, help may arrive at the wrong location entirely.

Who calls 911 from an office?

With the proliferation of smart phones, enterprises often assume that even if their UC system’s 911 functionality doesn’t work as well as it should, their users aren’t dialling 911 from their IP phones anyway; they assume that people just pick up their cell phones to dial 911. But the statistics show that this is a dangerous supposition: As Mary Boyd noted in her 911 Policy and the Enterprise webinar, almost 675,000 calls were made from Multi-Line Telephone Systems (MLTS) in the state of California in 2016 alone – more calls than there were people living in Wyoming that same year!

Why does 911 matter to the enterprise?

There are numerous reasons why fixing the 911 functionality gap is of paramount importance for enterprises. First and foremost, many states have legislation in place that requires enterprises with MLTS to deliver 911 to a specific standard. Secondly, many enterprises need to close this gap for liability reasons; simply put, if something goes wrong on your premises and you didn’t take adequate measures to allow for an efficient response, your enterprise might be on the hook. Finally, providing 911 service for your users is the right thing to do – if someone on your premises or network is in distress, you owe them the ethical duty to do your utmost to get them the assistance they need, as quickly as possible.

So now what?

Fortunately, solving for 911 can be simple – vendor-agnostic solutions that integrate with on-premises, cloud-based and hybrid UC deployments are available. Join us in booth #1513 at Enterprise Connect this year to learn how our solutions can unify 911 across your deployment, however your UC is deployed.

West Corporation

Posted on January 7, 2018 by West Corporation 


VoWiFi 911 and Application of Proximity Check

By: Marcus Andronici, Principal Sales Engineer

In recent blogs, we talked about the key components of a VoWiFi 911 solution, as well as VoWiFi user set-up and provisioning. Now I’m going to explore a specific VoWiFi 911 call feature: proximity check.

Wireless location has historically been derived from the cell tower and VoIP location from the subscriber’s pre-provisioned address. However, because of advancements in location-based technology with today’s mobile handsets, it’s now possible to acquire and utilize latitude/longitude (X/Y) directly from a 911 caller’s device.

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West Corporation

Posted on November 20, 2017 by West Corporation 


The Importance of Identifiable E911 Locations for First Responders

Someone in distress, unable to speak, dials 911 from their VoIP system at the office. The Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) receives the call with the following E911 location information: 123 Main Street, Marketing department, port 16. The PSAP then transmits the location data to first responders. However, once on-site, the emergency team finds a campus that consists of numerous multi-story buildings. Where is the Marketing department, and where is the location of port 16? First responders spend seconds, if not minutes, trying to pinpoint the precise location of the caller.

PSAPs need to transmit location information in a format that first responders can easily identify and understand. When seconds count and emergency teams need to find a person requiring immediate assistance, they simply don’t have time to figure out the location of a port or department within an enterprise’s facility.
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West Corporation

Posted on October 19, 2017 by West Corporation 


6 Questions for VoWiFi 911 User Set-Up and Provisioning

By: Marcus Andronici, Principal Sales Engineer

If you’re a telecommunications service provider (TSP) planning to offer WiFi calling, it’s never too early to start thinking about your support for 911. I always encourage our customers to prepare well in advance to help mitigate delays and frustration down the road.

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West Corporation

Posted on October 9, 2017 by West Corporation 


4 Key Features of a VoWiFi 911 Solution

By: Marcus Andronici, Principal Sales Engineer

Handset technology has evolved to the point that WiFi calling can often be a seamless experience for your users (on WiFi-enabled devices). For competitive carriers, VoWiFi is a means to:

  • Move calls off your networks to alleviate data/network demands.
  • Deliver differentiated services to your subscribers and reduce subscriber churn.
  • Provide coverage when and where wireless calls aren’t possible i.e., indoor environments where coverage can be limited.
  • Expand your carrier footprint while reducing roaming costs, thus eliminating the need to put additional roaming agreements in place.

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West Corporation

Posted on June 15, 2017 by West Corporation 


Behind the Scenes at West’s Emergency Call Relay Center (ECRC)

By: Tricia McConnell, Sr. Marketing Communications Manager

On a Friday afternoon in the Emergency Call Relay Center (ECRC) at West, call volume is steady but manageable. A vehicle collides with a bus, which triggers a 9-1-1 call from the car’s telematics system. A registered nurse from a 24-hour hotline reports a caller complaining of chest pains and nausea. The ECRC call takers identify the location and nature of these emergencies then conduct warm transfers by contacting the appropriate public safety answering point (PSAP) and confirming that the dispatcher and caller can communicate before dropping off.

The mood in the room back in October 2012 was significantly more intense. Then, as Hurricane Sandy surged up the east coast, PSAPs in impacted areas struggled to manage the overwhelming 9-1-1 call volume. The ECRC staff and other West employees worked extended shifts and through scheduled days off to help PSAPs respond to incoming 9-1-1 calls.

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West Corporation

Posted on August 4, 2015 by West Corporation 


Before You Go VoLTE, Read This

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 info@intrado.com or visit us at booth #217 at CCA 2015, October 7-9 in Fort Lauderdale.


West Corporation

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