Category: Safety Services


Category: Safety Services
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

Posted on April 8, 2015 by West Corporation 


It’s a Tool, Not an Invasion!

Data is important. Reliable data is key!After many years of service in the alarm monitoring industry, I understand the prevalent concern about subscriber data accuracy. There seems to be some confusion about why there are data problems. In my opinion, it’s simply a matter of misunderstanding.

Unfortunately, many people have had negative experiences with telemarketers, compromised identity issues or other privacy concerns. When alarm companies’ customer service or sales agents ask for required information, subscribers may not understand that the data is necessary and stored in their monitoring account to actually help their alarm company keep the SAFE in the event of an emergency.

The lack of accurate, actionable contact data may compromise the ability of the Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) to respond to a subscriber’s alarm activation. Here are some things for alarm companies to think about when processing subscriber data:

  • The subscriber’s mailing address may be different from the address that the AHJ uses to find them; subscriber addresses should be validated against what is known as the master street address guide (MSAG).
  • The subscriber may have recently moved into a new property and may not provide an accurate address to the alarm company.
  • Subscribers, or their legal representatives, may neglect to inform the alarm company when the phone number for their monitored location is changed.
  • Company acquisitions pose an additional problem with location and contact data; subscribers may not understand HOW to update their information with the new alarm company.
  • In certain circumstances, the subscriber’s address may change due to municipal realignment or renaming, annexation, incorporation, etc.

New technology that can help alarm companies understand and provide “AHJ-valid” address or location of subscribers is now available. “Bad” addresses are identified while an account is still new – before an alarm is activated. Additionally, the systems identify jurisdictions of police, fire, medical and PERS AHJs, supplying alarm companies with accurate subscriber location data in spite of information they may have received otherwise. In turn, this accurate data identifies the customer’s location for the AHJ, enables the alarm company to contact them and improves the probability that the AHJ will respond to their alarm activation.

True security is built upon a foundation of reliable data. 

Mary Jo Lakhal is Sr. Program Manager at Intrado, specializing in emergency response concerns for the alarm industry.


West Corporation

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