ETSI Releases New Standard for Emergency App Interoperability
Wednesday, March 28, 2018 | Comments

The European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) released a new specification that defines the requirements and architecture of pan-European mobile emergency applications (PEMEA). The new specification enables emergency apps interoperability within Europe and beyond.

The ETSI special committee on emergency communications (EMTEL) developed Technical Specification TS 103 478. There are hundreds of 1-1-2-related emergency calling applications in use across Europe, but they are restricted to the public-safety answering point (PSAP) to which they are integrated.

Many apps on smartphones, tablets or laptops aim to supplement existing communications services, such as providing caller and location information for emergency calls, while others seek to provide alternative communications mechanisms such as total conversation and instant messaging. This limitation prevents a user’s application operating in a region to deliver accurate location information to the PSAP serving the user’s location.

ETSI TS 103 478 aims to solve this problem. Users will continue to use their favorite application, while the accurate location and other information provided by the app will be sent to the most appropriate PSAP. 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, messages, protocols and procedures used across each of the identified PEMEA interfaces.

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

ETSI completed a next-generation 1-1-2 (NG 1-1-2) Emergency Communications Plugtests event last March, and another interoperability event is planned for next year. Twenty-one emergency apps have committed to be compliant with PEMEA.

Find the full specification here.

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