New service pinpoints 999 calls 4,000 times more accurately than current system and could help save lives
A new mobile tracker developed by BT, EE and HTC could help save lives by help emergency services pinpoint the source of 999 calls 4,000 times more accurately than they can currently.
22 million 999 and 112 calls are made from mobile phone each year and all are processed by BT call centres, but emergency services are only able to track mobile calls to within a few square kilometres.
BT said that calls from mobiles take on average 30 seconds longer to process than landlines but they make up 60 per cent of the overall calls to 999.
In around 36,000 incidents reported by mobiles each year, the emergency services spend 30 minutes or more looking for the location.
The Advanced Mobile Location (AML) system combats this by giving emergency service operators pinpoint location data to within 0.003Km.
Public Safety Communications Officials (BAPCO) President Sue Lampard said that an update to the 999 service was long overdue, adding: “I’m delighted to see this development.n the 21st century it is hard to believe that the UK emergency services are unable to receive good location data.”
“This is the first of a number of steps that need to be taken to bring our 999 technology up to date with society. Well done to BT, EE and HTC for working so hard to achieve this – lives will be saved as a result.”
Available on EE
BT, EE and HTC have worked closely with the emergency services over the last 12 months to develop AML, which is currently available on emergency service calls made on the EE network using a new HTC device.
Devices which can currently carry the AML system are the HTC One mini 2, HTC One (M8), HTC Desire 610, HTC One and HTC One mini.
It works by automatically sending a text message to the 999 text service with location details. The text is not visible on the handset and is free of charge.
The three firms are currently discussing making the service available across all networks and manufactures so that the technology can be added to all devices free of charge.
BT 999 policy manager John Medland said: “This is a major breakthrough and will undoubtedly help save lives. It is obviously vital for the emergency services to get fast, accurate information so they can pinpoint where an incident is and provide help as quickly as possible.
“AML will help to cut response times, particularly for calls where there is only minimal location information. We’re really looking forward to the other mobile networks and manufacturers making this available too.”