EENA Develops Strategy to Standardize Emergency Apps
Monday, September 19, 2016 | Comments
The European Emergency Number Association (EENA) developed a strategy to standardize interfaces for emergency applications to allow them to be used across Europe, rather than only in local areas or regions.

During the past few years, EENA has developed the Pan-European Mobile Emergency Application (PEMEA) to handle the challenge of emergency apps that are local to a city or region.

“There is a lack of accurate location information, which has fueled the growth of apps with device-provided location information being generated,” said Cristina Lumbreras, EENA technical director.

There are many apps on the market from public authorities and commercial companies. Apps are powerful tools for bidirectional communications from authorities to citizens and vice versa. Video calling, supplementary health information and basic first aid are a few apps available.

But the apps usually work only within local boundaries but not across borders, so citizens don’t download them in large numbers. Spain, for example, has a lot of apps running right now, one for each region. That means if a person goes to a neighboring region, the local app won’t work.

EENA’s apps strategy includes developing an architecture to allow interoperability among all apps. The architecture is complete, and the association is now working to deliver a set of requirements and deployment guidelines. Once the requirements are complete, EENA will develop a validation and authentication program to ensure interoperability.

The association defined four basic interfaces:
1. The Pa interface between the app and the application provider with a minimal set of requirements
2. The Ps between the application provider and the public-safety answering point (PSAP) service provider
3. The Pp from the PSAP service provider to the PSAP itself, although the interface is not standardized because of all the different local requirements
4. The Pr roaming interface to interconnect different PSAP service providers

EENA has published several PEMEA documents including a “1-1-2 Apps Strategy,” “PEMEA Requirements and Functional Architecture,” “PEMEA Protocol and Procedures Specification” and “PEMEA Approval Procedures.”

The app will initiate the call through a mobile network operator in a visiting region, and the service provider will push it through using the Pr aggregating service provider interface to the right PSAP.

EENA is developing a bridge with the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) emergency telecommunications (EMTEL) group for a standardized approach. EMTEL approved a PEMEA work item that will identify early PEMEA adopters to assist in tests and improvements. An EENA-ETSI Plugtest is planned for March 2017.

EENA plans to collaborate with stakeholders to identify extensions and further improvements.

You can view the documents here.

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