NENA’s ICE 7 Focuses on 9-1-1 Application Standards Testing
Wednesday, April 05, 2017 | Comments

The National Emergency Number Association (NENA) held its seventh Industry Collaboration Event (ICE) March 19 – 22 focused on external applications, emergency incident data document (EIDD) and additional data, bringing together 23 companies. The ICE series allows vendors to test products and services that will advance 9-1-1 from the current voice-only, legacy 9-1-1 environment into IP-based communications.

Application developers now see 9-1-1 and access to emergency services as an area ripe for further development. Many developers may not be aware of either existing legacy 9-1-1 or emerging next-generation 9-1-1 (NG 9-1-1) industry standards. The ICE 7 test event aimed to ensure applications are compatible with future systems. The external application portions of the event involved methods of how applications can interface with NG 9-1-1 core services (NGCS) in conformance with NG 9-1-1 standards developed by NENA.

The hands-on, standards-based testing done in the lab setting at this event yielded a number of significant firsts. Vendors tested smart-device apps that interface with NG 9-1-1 to provide improved caller location information to 9-1-1 call-takers. In addition, the event allowed testing of capabilities that allow 9-1-1 personnel to receive data from callers or data about an emergency scene. Companies also tested NG 9-1-1 data exchange functions that enable seamless information sharing within 9-1-1 center systems and between individual 9-1-1 centers, field responders and other public-safety entities.

The testing and results from ICE 7 help ensure that NG 9-1-1 provides the services and the level of reliability required for IP-based, mission-critical communications, while supporting accessibility to NG 9-1-1 service for all citizens making requests for assistance.

“Facilitating the timely migration to NG 9-1-1 is one of NENA’s highest priorities,” said NENA President Renee Hardwick. “The ICE series is one of the integral ways that NENA is fostering collaboration and moving our industry forward. We thank all the participating companies for their commitment to developing and deploying NG 9-1-1, and we look forward to their participation in future Industry collaboration events.”

ICE 7 participants used current, pending and in-development standards for the tests, gaining knowledge that only collaborative, multiparty testing can provide. The result was a better understanding of how these emerging areas of technology interface with NG 9-1-1’s core services as defined by the NENA i3 standard, the foundational document that governs how NG 9-1-1 works. The overall test objectives of ICE 7 were met and will be the basis for the tests conducted at future events, said a statement from GeoComm, one of the participating companies.

The Illinois Institute of Technology, School of Applied Technology in Wheaton, Illinois, has hosted the past four ICEs, allowing participants to use the network technology and facilities at the Rice Campus.

“GeoComm remains committed to NENA’s vision of NG 9-1-1 and helped plan ICE 7 by co-chairing the event,” said Brooks Shannon, senior product manager at GeoComm. “Through our participation, we had the opportunity to test interoperability and adherence to standards — not just for GeoComm’s ECRF/LVF, but for all vendors attending the event.”

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