ATIS, TIA to Develop Text-to-9-1-1 Standard (12/18/12)
Tuesday, December 18, 2012 | Comments

The Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions (ATIS) and the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) announced a collaboration to develop the near-term text-to-9-1-1 solution. This work will provide the standards that, upon implementation, will provide short message service (SMS) subscribers the ability to send an SMS text message to 9-1-1.

Earlier this month, the nation’s four largest cellular carriers — Verizon Wireless, AT&T Wireless, Sprint Nextel and T-Mobile USA — agreed with public-safety groups on text-to-9-1-1 capabilities. A week later, the FCC proposed rules for text messages to 9-1-1 and requested comment on several components of the carriers’ text-to-9-1-1 suggestions.

The ATIS/TIA standards solution will create a common approach for users to send and public-safety personnel to receive text messages, and provides the capability for them to communicate. It is critical that texting to 9-1-1 have a similar look and feel regardless of where the text originates, and the ATIS/TIA standards solution makes this possible, according to a statement.

The ATIS/TIA standard also supports the implementation of an auto-reply message advising an SMS subscriber to dial 9-1-1 if texting to 9-1-1 is unavailable in that area.

“Various cities and states across the U.S. are already adopting multiple vendor-specific solutions for texting to 9-1-1,” said ATIS President and CEO Susan M. Miller. “If this trend continued, then texting to 9-1-1 would turn into a regional service with little or no interoperability. Ensuring public safety depends on a reliable, nationwide standardized solution supporting text-to-9-1-1.”

The joint ATIS/TIA solution is envisioned without a third-party relay function and without redesigning the existing SMS architecture. The service that results from this collaboration is an interim solution while the long-term next-generation 9-1-1 (NG 9-1-1) solution continues to be developed in ATIS and the Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) for multimedia messaging emergency services in the next technology generation.

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