AT&T recently announced it will be the first carrier to launch location-based routing to automatically transmit wireless 911 calls to the correct call centers nationwide. The carrier will be able to so through Intrado’s new “Locate Before Route” feature. AT&T can identify where a wireless 911 call is coming from quickly and more accurately with device GPS and hybrid information to route the call to the appropriate 911 call center, also known as public safety answering point (PSAP).
“Providing our customers with reliable connectivity and high-quality service on America’s largest wireless network is what we strive for everyday at AT&T,” said Chris Sambar, EVP, AT&T Network. Launching this industry-leading public safety solution allows us to ultimately help improve the connections and efficiency for our wireless customers by offering more accurate service when making emergency calls.”
Location-based routing allows a device to be located and routed within 50 meters of the device location. Before the launch, wireless 911 calls were routed based on where cell towers were located, which could cover up to a 10-mile radius. Such a vast radius can lead to emergency response delays—especially if a call is made within PSAP border areas, where state, county or city boundaries overlap.
“We share a busy border with King County and are thrilled with the significant decrease in 911 transfers,” said Kurt Mills, Executive Director, Snohomish County 911. “We know that 911 transfers delay emergency response and the winner here is our community. We very much appreciate the public-private partnership between our agency, AT&T and Intrado that allowed us to be the first in the nation to implement this new routing technology.”
The nationwide rollout is available today in Alaska, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, Wyoming, Kansas, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota and Guam. Additional regions will be rolled out over the next several weeks. The nationwide rollout is expected to be completed by the end of June.
Importance of location-based routing
As more people use cell phones as their primary mode of communication, location accuracy has become more critical in emergency situations. Nearly 70% of adults do not have a landline in their homes, according to the CDC, and 80% of 911 calls come from a mobile device, per the National Emergency Number Association.
As the number of wireless connections and mobile 911 calls grow, AT&T wants to deploy this public safety network feature so people have the same fast, accurate and reliable connection to PSAPs whether they’re calling from their cell phone or landline during an emergency. AT&T is currently the only carrier to provide an accurate solution to reduce wireless 9-1-1 call transfers that exceeds FCC requirements, the carrier said.
Frost & Sullivan has recognized AT&T with its Market Leadership Award for U.S. NextGen 911 Services for three consecutive years.
“Location-based routing is a significant accomplishment for public safety,” said Intrado Life & Safety President Jeff Robertson. “I’m proud of our collaboration with AT&T and look forward to continued innovation with them as we combine our technologies for the benefit of public safety – doing the right thing for the right reasons.”