Category: Safety Services


Category: Safety Services
West Corporation

Posted on September 23, 2015 by West Corporation 


TDI Recognizes Advocates for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Community

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.

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

Posted on July 21, 2015 by West Corporation 


Wireless UC E911 Technology At-A-Glance Guide Now Available!

Our Wireless UC E911 Technology At-A-Glance Guide is available for download on-demand. This guide walks you through the location tracking solutions that are commonly deployed to track wireless users on an organization’s network. The goal, whether your enterprise is a large multi-campus entity or a single building, is to choose the right-sized wireless tracking solution that meets your organization’s unique needs.

Read More >

West Corporation

Posted on June 25, 2015 by West Corporation 


Why NENA Matters to 9-1-1 Matters

Throughout its history, the National Emergency Number Association (NENA) has represented The Voice of 9-1-1™, focusing on 9-1-1 policies, technologies and operations’ issues while promoting educational opportunities for its members. Intrado has been a proud supporter, participant and beneficiary of these efforts.

Learn. Connect. Discover. Grow.

The NENA 2015 Conference & Expo is in our own backyard! We are proud of Colorado and proud to once again be a Platinum sponsor of NENA’s annual national event. The theme of this year’s conference is aptly named, “LEARN CONNECT DISCOVER GROW”. Those are, in fact, the sentiments that Intrado employees express when describing what NENA has done for them through the years:

  • “I’ve attended every NENA conference since 1982. NENA has served as my constant companion and invaluable resource throughout my career in 9-1-1.”
  • “NENA’s work in the 9-1-1 Industry has inspired me to do the job worth doing.”
  • “Being a NENA member gives me many opportunities to increase my industry knowledge and I am proud that I’ve recently become an ENP!”
  • “I joined NENA for the opportunity to bring attention to equal access services for 9-1-1 They didn’t let me down! NENA was the first public safety organization to address critical issues for people with disabilities and continues to lead the nation to ensure all citizens through standards development.”
  • “Throughout almost 30 years in the 9-1-1 business, NENA has been a driving force for improvements and change in the industry.”
  • “Through NENA, we all come together as 9-1-1 professionals, ensuring technological advances are addressed, and securing this vital public service for our nation.  I’m proud to have had such a rewarding career and engagement with NENA and Intrado, and all the other dedicated people in this industry.”
  • “When I was coming up in the industry, NENA made me feel welcome.”
  • “I appreciate the HEART of NENA – the heart that looks forward and gives back.”

Click here to learn about the Run for 9-1-1 benefit for Friends of 9-1-1, how to meet keynote speaker Amy Van Dyken in Intrado booth #822 and see demos of cutting-edge technology and products that can help you plan your migration to NG9-1-1.

See you there!

West Corporation

Posted on June 23, 2015 by West Corporation 


911 Enable Provides Seamless Support for Customers Upgrading from Microsoft Lync to Skype for Business

Montreal, QC – June 10th 2015 – Intrado/911 Enable announced that its E9-1-1 solutions for Microsoft officially support Skype for Business, Microsoft’s rebranded universal communications client. Organizations upgrading to Skype for Business or kicking off greenfield deployments can count on a complete and certified solution that meets all E9-1-1 requirements.

Read More >

West Corporation

Posted on June 10, 2015 by West Corporation 


“Help Man With Gun In House.” 6 Years of Text-to-911

Today I was reminded that six years ago on June 9, 2009, Black Hawk County, Iowa received the first successful test of a 911 text message in the country, supported by our TXT29-1-1® service. At the time, the simple text of “help man with gun in house” was considered a breakthrough for the speech and hearing-impaired community. Today, a text-to-911 message is the best alternative to a voice 9-1-1 call in emergency situations.

Over 500 PSAPS enabled with Text Capabilities

West has helped enable over 500 PSAPs with text capabilities, and wireless carriers provide 911 text support where available.

There are still challenges ahead, including improving funding to upgrade current 911 systems and increasing the public’s awareness about this capability in their jurisdictions.

Still, milestones like these remind me what a privilege it is to be part of a community that works collaboratively to leverage every available technology in the interest of public safety.

Calling 911 is always best, but if you can’t, send a text.

 

West Corporation

Posted on May 26, 2015 by West Corporation 


State of the Industry: Wi-Fi Device and UC Adoption Alters E911 Strategies

With more and more devices connecting over Wi-Fi, enterprises need to be able to rely on proven strategies.

As wireless desk phones proliferate and the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) revolution continues to pick up steam, enterprises are discovering that an E911 strategy for Unified Communications (UC) adoption must now include a strategy for devices connecting over Wi-Fi. This State-of-the-Industry post describes the challenges of wireless UC for E911 for voice planners and provides an introduction to future installments of our special Enterprise Wireless UC E911 Strategy Guide webinar.

Read More >

West Corporation

Posted on May 12, 2015 by West Corporation 


New Advancements in Wireless Location Accuracy

PSAPs have good reason to be concerned about wireless indoor location accuracy. We believe a physical address – not just an X/Y coordinate – is the gold standard for public safety. In addition, our research shows that current solutions like reverse geo-coding provide an incorrect address in approximately 15% of all 9-1-1 calls.

New advancements in Wireless Location Accuracy provide cost-effective strategies utilizing available technologies that can help carriers provide a dispatchable address to PSAPs.

Residential Femtocells
Some carriers now deploy femtocells nationwide; passing the physical address of the subscriber with coverage of 150 meters. When their “personal cell site” is installed, the residential subscriber provides a dispatchable location. GPS data in the femotcell–in real time–provides geo-validation of the address and can detect femtocell movement. This dispatchable location and the X/Y location of the femtocell or handset is delivered to the PSAP and displayed on the call taker’s console without any changes.

Enterprise Femtocells
Enterprise femtocells often cover definable indoor spaces such as offices and public structures. They are installed by a carrier or the enterprise and can provide a level of accuracy comparable to wireline with a dispatchable address. Devices with GPS can be used to reliably validate the address.

Geo-Relevant Wireless ALI
Using existing technology, geo-relevant wireless ALI provides a dispatchable location associated with the emergency caller. The ALI address data is collected from multiple sources including a user-provided address, public records databases and, potentially, a billing address.

For example, if a caller provides their home address, and the X/Y location shows the call is originating near the residence, it’s very likely that the call is being made from within the residence. In this example, the absence of any GPS coordinates would make it even more likely that a call is originating from inside the residence.

Even an associated address nearby (of a relative or a previously provided address) has extreme value to PSAPs as it provides them with a starting point of investigation. Initial testing indicates that 15-30% of all wireless 9-1-1 calls using this solution can deliver a dispatchable location.

Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) Beacons and WiFi
BLE and WiFi radios exist in most new smartphones, so this is a low cost solution and ideal for residential applications. Dedicated 9-1-1 beacons can provide highly accurate and manageable dispatchable locations. An attractive feature of this option is that BLE beacon or WiFi addresses can be stored in the National Emergency Address Database (NEAD) and passed to the PSAP at the time of the call.

Handset Assisted Indoor Location – Location Fusion 
We are excited about a development in wireless 9-1-1 that would be forward-compatible with any new smart device enhancements. Intrado is now testing the ability of smartphones to sense satellite signals along with nearby WiFi access points and BLE beacon locations to narrow the location for callers using enabled devices. This solution blends location technologies (such as commercial location detection used by retail stores) in a secure, always-on mode. Implementation of this technology could potentially support VoIP, Voice over Wireless LAN, VoLTE, and CDMA/UMTS voice.

There isn’t currently a single, standalone technology that meets all of the requirements of the new FCC rules. The future of location accuracy depends on the convergence of a several technologies working in tandem to deliver a physical address.

To learn more about the FCC’s ruling and the technologies outlined here, view our recent Wireless Location Accuracy webinar here.

West Corporation

Posted on April 29, 2015 by West Corporation 


10 Things You Need to Know about the FCC Wireless Location Accuracy Ruling

Earlier this month, I spoke at a webinar, Two Steps Forward, Two Steps Forward: Advancements in Wireless Location Accuracy. If you missed the live broadcast, we discussed the FCC’s new Fourth Report and Order concerning wireless E9-1-1 location accuracy, and provided an overview of current and emerging solutions to help carriers comply with the new regulations in a cost-effective way. Here are 10 things you should know about the new regulations:

    1. The ruling introduces the concept of “dispatchable location” as the gold standard for public safety while also setting forth improved horizontal location requirements.
      • 40% of all wireless 9-1-1 calls within 2 years
      • 50% of all wireless 9-1-1 calls within 3 years
      • 70% of all wireless 9-1-1 calls within 5 years
      • 80% of all wireless 9-1-1 calls within 6 years
    2. Non-nationwide carriers receive extensions to the 5-year and 6-year deadlines mentioned above (by 6 months and 1 year, respectively) based upon the timing of VoLTE deployment in their networks.
    3. Within 3 years, all carriers must deliver uncompensated barometric pressure data (for calls originating from capable devices).
    4. Carriers must develop a Z-axis solution within 6 years. Both uncompensated barometric pressure data and Z-axis data are somewhat controversial given that an altitude coordinate without a fixed starting point (such as sea level) may not be of practical use for most PSAPs. Non-nationwide carriers have an additional year to meet these requirements.
    5. Performance of location accuracy will be measured based on live 9-1-1 call data.
    6. Carriers serving any portion of a test city (San Francisco, Chicago, Atlanta, Denver/Front Range, Philadelphia, and Manhattan Borough) have 18 months, after March 2015, to report aggregate data of the location technology used.
    7. The ruling establishes the National Emergency Address Database (NEAD), a centralized database for wireless carriers.
    8. Carriers are required to provide a location within 30 seconds, as well as meet a confidence level of 90% for E9-1-1 calls.
    9. These new FCC requirements do not replace existing Phase II mandates concerning outdoor calls.

The positive news for carriers is that it is possible to provide a dispatchable location in a cost-effective way.

In Wireless Location Accuracy Blog – Part 2, we’ll take a closer look at WiFi, Bluetooth low energy (BLE) beacons, small cells and other promising technologies that we think will help wireless carriers precisely locate their indoor wireless subscribers in an emergency.

For more detail on the FCC requirements and the technologies that support location accuracy, click here to view the recorded webinar.

West Corporation

Posted on April 15, 2015 by West Corporation 


You’re on First! Professionals Behind the Headset

Celebrating National Public Safety Telecommunicators week reminds us of the thousands of people who dedicate their lives to being there for those who are in need. Citizens naturally recognize the face of the first responder as their hero. Very rarely do they know that the professionals behind the headset are truly the FIRST, first responders – the 9-1-1 crisis response team!

This blog is dedicated to the moms, dads, aunts, uncles, sisters, brothers, and grandparents who decided that their calling in life was to answer emergency calls and ensure that proper response is sent to panicked 9-1-1 callers.

Your days are never dull. And they’re never stress free. Whether you’re answering an irritated citizen calling about a blocked driveway or someone home alone at night with the sound of breaking glass in the background, YOU are the crisis response team. YOU are the reassuring voice, the calm hand, the swift multi-tasker who can juggle the pleas of a frantic caller while guiding responders en route to the scene. YOU are the 9-1-1 crisis response team.

You’re the individual that stays awake when you should be sleeping, wondering if questions asked just a bit differently would have changed a tragic outcome. You’re the one that reassures a scared home-alone child that help is on the way. You’re the one who can magically deliver a “snake man” to remove a pesky visitor. YOU are the 9-1-1 crisis response team.

You can call the child of an elderly parent to let them know “things are a little out of sorts”. You know when “frequent callers” aren’t calling and need to know why. You live on fast food and stress and always get by somehow. You’re there when others are leaving work to go home. YOU are the 9-1-1 crisis response team.

You are my hero! I know you will be there should an emergency cross my path. YOU are the 9-1-1 crisis response team.

For all the sleepless nights, for the stress you endure and for all of those missed meals, I say THANK YOU for choosing to help. Thank YOU for dedicating your life to be the 9-1-1 crisis response team!


West Corporation

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