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TeleCommunication Systems (TCS) extended its Interoperability Lab to include session initiation protocol (SIP)/message session relay protocol (MSRP) testing for text. TCS completed MSRP interoperability testing with four public-safety equipment vendors: Airbus DS Communications, Emergency CallWorks, ModUcom and Solacom.
The TCS Interoperability Lab enables National Emergency Number Association (NENA) i3-compliant call-handling solution vendors to test their text-to-9-1-1 interfaces and software prior to deployment into next-generation 9-1-1 (NG 9-1-1) public-safety answering points (PSAPs). Four additional public-safety equipment vendors are in the process of equipment testing for NENA i3 compliance.
TCS works with legacy text-service providers that use proprietary protocols, as well as providers that use the standards-based MSRP protocol, to simplify the deployment and accelerate the adoption by PSAPs interested in receiving text-to-9-1-1 messages. Public-safety equipment vendors connect to the lab remotely through a secure portal connected to TCS' lab, located in Seattle.
The TCS lab allows call-handling solution vendors to test the interfaces that process these messages, ensuring smooth deployment of MSRP-based interfaces for text-to-9-1-1. PSAPs, in turn, will know which releases of a vendor's call-handling software have completed MSRP interoperability testing prior to relying on them to process emergency text messages from the public.
TCS said it was the first to deploy text-to-9-1-1 to PSAPs via all three available methods: teletypewriter (TTY), direct IP using secure web protocols and next-generation MSRP, company officials said. As of the beginning of May, the percentage of delivered texts to 9-1-1 has increased by 70 percent compared with 2014 rates.
The FCC created a Text-to-911 Readiness and Certification Registry, which provides information on each PSAP that is ready to accept texts, although momentum has been slower than expected.
TCS supports more than 530 PSAPs with production service in 35 states or regions and is working with an additional 330 PSAPS to implement text-to-9-1-1.