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.
Let’s start with your users’ expectations of VoWiFi calling and, in particular, how you will enable 911 calling on the device. It may not always be obvious to subscribers when their calls are being routed over WiFi and, even if it is, they will likely expect connectivity similar to that of a cellular 911 call.
Our goal should always be, barring any technical limitations, to meet or exceed this expectation. I recommend bringing in your regulatory team, UI designers and human factors engineers to help establish the subscriber opt in and address provisioning processes that meets your requirements.
There are a number of different approaches for user set up of WiFi calling and 911 address provisioning. This includes enabling a user’s ability to input a 911 address of record for the device. As you begin the planning process, you’ll want to consider these questions:
- Will your 911 calls be delivered through an OTT app that needs to be downloaded by your subscribers or will it be integrated into the device settings of the cell phone?
- Will you ask subscribers to acknowledge their understanding of the potential differences between a 911 VoWiFi call experience compared with a cellular-based call?
- Will you have the end user acknowledge regulatory requirements?
- Will you provide an opportunity to enter a pre-provisioned address, which may be used as a dispatchable location at the time of a 911 call?
- Can subscribers update their pre-provisioned address at a later time? (I highly recommend this option).
- Will you allow your users to enter multiple locations such as their home, work and/or school addresses?
Jerry Wilke, our Customer Team Director, will be at CCA’s 2017 Annual Convention in Fort Worth next week and speaking at the seminar, 911 Essentials: Getting Ready to Deploy VoWiFi. We welcome your questions during that session or anytime in West’s booth (#303).
To view my previous post, 4 Key Features of a VoWiFi 911 Solution, click here.