Google and T-Mobile Improving 911 Call Location Accuracy
Google and T-Mobile are working together to ensure that T-Mobile customers' location is more accurately pinpointed when calling 911 emergency services. About 80% of the annual 240 million 911 calls in the U.S. are made via cell phones. Where landlines can point to an exact address for emergency services, cell phones often provide only a general location that can be off by hundreds of feet. Google and T-Mobile have been looking to solve this problem for four years. Moving forward, Android devices running on T-Mobile's network will use the RapidSOS system. RapidSOS's internet protocol-based pipeline can share location data with 911 centers quickly and securely. This newer system integrates with 911 centers' existing software to more finely pinpoint location. This user location data cannot be used for non-emergency purposes and 911 centers will only have access to location during 911 emergency calls. RapidSOS is operating in about 1,000 of the country's 5,700 911 call centers. RapidSOS is available to all 911 centers, though there's no word on when the rest will adopt it. By law, wireless network operators are required to locate callers within 50 meters 80% of the time, but not until 2021. Google and T-Mobile claim RapidSOS reduces the average location radius from more than 500 feet down to 122 feet. This is within the range mandated by the FCC. Apple adopted RapidSOS with the release of iOS 12, allowing iPhones to provide similarly accurate location data to 911 call centers.
Jun 18, 2018
Apple today said iPhones will soon provide 911 emergency services with more exact locations of callers. Since 2015, Apple has relied on HELO (Hybridized Emergency Location), which uses cellular, GPS, and wifi access points to estimate 911 callers' locations.
Aug 2, 2019
Google is adding a new feature to some Android phones that can speak to an emergency operator on your behalf when you call 911. During an emergency call, three new buttons — "Medical", "Fire", and "Police" — will be available in case you're unable to speak.
Sep 24, 2018
Google recently made improvements to its Daydream virtual reality platform that will see its usefulness expand in several ways. First, it is giving the Lenovo Mirage Solo headset the ability to support six degrees of freedom.
Mar 16, 2017
Hundreds of hang-up calls hitting Dallas' 911 center are causing backlogs, reports the Wall Street Journal, and T-Mobile handsets are to blame. The issue began last fall and occurs when a T-Mobile customer places a legitimate call to 911.
Jun 28, 2018
AT&T has agreed to pay a fine of $5.25 million to the FCC for its failure to connect 911 calls during two short periods last year. The FCC called the 5-hour outage in March 2017 and 47-minute outage in May 2017, during which some 12,600 and 2,600 911 emergency calls failed, respectively, unacceptable.