Wireless Industry Announces Latest Step Toward Enhancing Mobile 911 Location Services

WASHINGTON, Oct. 4, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Today, the 911 National Emergency Address Database (NEAD) LLC, an independent entity established by CTIA®, announced a major step toward helping first responders locate wireless 911 callers more accurately indoors by selecting West’s Safety Services to develop and operate the NEAD Platform. With a NEAD operator in place, the wireless industry remains on schedule to enhance indoor 911 location accuracy by harnessing commercial technologies.

“The NEAD is a critical element of the wireless industry’s efforts to enhance our country’s emergency 911 services,” said CTIA Senior Vice President Thomas Sawanobori. “Our partnerships with West and ATIS to operate the NEAD will enable wireless carriers to provide 911 call centers and first responders with dispatchable location information that will help save lives while reflecting Americans’ preference for wireless capabilities.”

“APCO is pleased to be part of this important milestone in the collaborative efforts to improve 911 location accuracy. Establishing the NEAD will put us another step closer to enabling the provision of dispatchable locations, the gold standard for public safety,” said APCO CEO and Executive Director Derek Poarch.

“The NEAD represents a huge advancement in our ability to locate people who call 911 from indoors using their wireless phone,” said Evelyn Bailey, executive director of the National Association of State 911 Administrators (NASNA). “The public, 911 dispatchers and first responders will benefit greatly from having more reliable indoor location information. We look forward to the day when the NEAD becomes operational.”

“NENA is pleased that work on the NEAD is moving forward with the selection of an operating partner. This database is one crucial element of a broad-based strategy aimed at making sure that every person who calls 911 can be located quickly and accurately. Getting the database online, with appropriate privacy and security controls, is a major milestone in our location accuracy agreement with the wireless carriers, and we look forward to the day when that milestone is reached,” said Brian Fontes, CEO, NENA.

“West is committed to developing new technologies for carriers that promise improved wireless location accuracy during a 911 emergency,” said John Kearney, SVP & GM of West’s Safety Services – Mobility. “We agree with the FCC that providing a dispatchable address to our public safety partners is the ‘gold standard’ that the industry must pursue. We’re passionate about the NEAD project, which we believe will more effectively assist first responders in locating wireless callers.

“As the NEAD Project Manager as well as the organization developing the architecture and requirements for NEAD implementation, ATIS looks forward to working with West to advance the build-out of this critical resource for providing lifesaving dispatchable location information,” said ATIS President and CEO Susan Miller.”

The FCC adopted rules requiring wireless carriers to improve 911 location accuracy for emergency calls from mobile devices. The FCC’s rules were based on the Roadmap to Improve 911 Location Accuracy [PDF] adopted by AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon as well as the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) and the National Emergency Number Association (NENA). CTIA established the NEAD LLC to implement a national database of access point (e.g., Wi-Fi hotspots) and beacon (e.g., Bluetooth Low Energy) location information that will enable wireless service providers to deliver a dispatchable location that will help 911 call centers respond to emergencies.

To oversee West’s implementation of the platform, the NEAD previously named the Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions (ATIS) as the project manager. West will implement the NEAD platform in accordance with the FCC’s rules, including privacy and security requirements, and ATIS standards.

In addition to the NEAD, CTIA’s 911 Location Accuracy Technologies Test Bed (Test Bed) LLC is actively evaluating 911 location accuracy solutions from wireless carriers and technology vendors in accordance with FCC rules and ATIS standards. The significant progress made by both the NEAD and Test Bed demonstrates the wireless industry’s commitment to improving and enhancing wireless 911 location accuracy.