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ETSI releases emergency app standard

Institute reports 21 emergency apps have already committed to be compliant with PEMEA, moving it closer to reality

There are hundreds of 112-related emergency calling applications in use across Europe
There are hundreds of 112-related emergency calling applications in use across Europe

The European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) has announced the release of a new specification which defines the requirements and architecture of pan-European mobile emergency applications (PEMEA).


According to ETSI, there are currently hundreds of 112 related emergency calling applications in use across the continent but are restricted to the public safety answering point (PSAP) they are integrated with.


The technical standard TS 103 478 aims to provide a solution that will enable emergency apps interoperability within Europe and beyond.


If apps on smart phones, tablets or laptops have proliferated, many of them aim to supplement existing communications services, such as providing caller and location information for emergency calls, while others seek to provide alternative communication mechanisms such as total conversation and instant messaging, for example, said the institute.


This limitation prevents user’s application operating in a region to deliver accurate location information to the PSAP serving their location.


“We believe that all apps connecting citizens with the emergency services have to work no matter where the citizen is and what app they are using. To achieve this, these apps should be interconnected in a standardised way,” said Cristina Lumbreras, vice chair of the ETSI EMTEL group.


With TS 103 478, users will be able to continue to use their favourite application while the accurate location and other information provided by the app will be sent to the most appropriate PSAP, said ETSI.


The first part of the specification identifies the key functional entities involved in the emergency application architecture, the interfaces between each functional entity, and the requirements on each interface.


The second part defines the data exchanges, message, protocols and procedures used across each of the identified PEMEA interfaces.


ETSI staged a next generation 112 (NG112) Emergency Communications Plugtests event in March 2017, and another interoperability event is planned for next year. The institute reports that 21 emergency apps have committed to be compliant with PEMEA, moving the standard a step closer to becoming a reality for Europeans.


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