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Major milestone reached in effort to pinpoint wireless 911 calls from buildings


WASHINGTON Oct. 4, 2016 Today, the 911 National Emergency Address Database (NEAD) LLC, an independent entity established by CTIA®, announced a major step toward helping first responders locate wireless 911 callers more accurately indoors by selecting West's Safety Services to develop and operate the NEAD Platform. With a NEAD operator in place, the wireless industry remains on schedule to enhance indoor 911 location accuracy by harnessing commercial technologies.

"The NEAD is a critical element of the wireless industry's efforts to enhance our country's emergency 911 services," said CTIA Senior Vice President Thomas Sawanobori. "Our partnerships with West and ATIS to operate the NEAD will enable wireless carriers to provide 911 call centers and first responders with dispatchable location information that will help save lives while reflecting Americans' preference for wireless capabilities."

"APCO is pleased to be part of this important milestone in the collaborative efforts to improve 911 location accuracy. Establishing the NEAD will put us another step closer to enabling the provision of dispatchable locations, the gold standard for public safety," said APCO CEO and Executive Director Derek Poarch.

"The NEAD represents a huge advancement in our ability to locate people who call 911 from indoors using their wireless phone," said Evelyn Bailey, executive director of the National Association of State 911 Administrators (NASNA). "The public, 911 dispatchers and first responders will benefit greatly from having more reliable indoor location information. We look forward to the day when the NEAD becomes operational."

"NENA is pleased that work on the NEAD is moving forward with the selection of an operating partner. This database is one crucial element of a broad-based strategy aimed at making sure that every person who calls 911 can be located quickly and accurately. Getting the database online, with appropriate privacy and security controls, is a major milestone in our location accuracy agreement with the wireless carriers, and we look forward to the day when that milestone is reached," said Brian Fontes, CEO, NENA.

"West is committed to developing new technologies for carriers that promise improved wireless location accuracy during a 911 emergency," said John Kearney, SVP & GM of West's Safety Services – Mobility. "We agree with the FCC that providing a dispatchable address to our public safety partners is the 'gold standard' that the industry must pursue. We're passionate about the NEAD project, which we believe will more effectively assist first responders in locating wireless callers.

"As the NEAD Project Manager as well as the organization developing the architecture and requirements for NEAD implementation, ATIS looks forward to working with West to advance the build-out of this critical resource for providing lifesaving dispatchable location information," said ATIS President and CEO Susan Miller."

The FCC adopted rules requiring wireless carriers to improve 911 location accuracy for emergency calls from mobile devices. The FCC's rules were based on the Roadmap to Improve 911 Location Accuracy [PDF] adopted by AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon as well as the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) and the National Emergency Number Association (NENA). CTIA established the NEAD LLC to implement a national database of access point (e.g., Wi-Fi hotspots) and beacon (e.g., Bluetooth Low Energy) location information that will enable wireless service providers to deliver a dispatchable location that will help 911 call centers respond to emergencies.

To oversee West's implementation of the platform, the NEAD previously named the Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions (ATIS) as the project manager. West will implement the NEAD platform in accordance with the FCC's rules, including privacy and security requirements, and ATIS standards.

In addition to the NEAD, CTIA's 911 Location Accuracy Technologies Test Bed (Test Bed) LLC is actively evaluating 911 location accuracy solutions from wireless carriers and technology vendors in accordance with FCC rules and ATIS standards. The significant progress made by both the NEAD and Test Bed demonstrates the wireless industry's commitment to improving and enhancing wireless 911 location accuracy.

About CTIA

CTIA® (www.ctia.org) represents the U.S. wireless communications industry and the companies throughout the mobile ecosystem that enable Americans to lead a 21st century connected life. The association's members include wireless carriers, device manufacturers, suppliers as well as apps and content companies. CTIA vigorously advocates at all levels of government for policies that foster continued wireless innovation and investment. The association also coordinates the industry's voluntary best practices, hosts educational events that promote the wireless industry and co-produces the industry's leading wireless tradeshow. CTIA was founded in 1984 and is based in Washington, D.C.

APCO International® (www.apcointl.org)

APCO International is the world's oldest and largest organization of public safety communications professionals and supports the largest U.S. membership base of any public safety association. It serves the needs of public safety communications practitioners worldwide - and the welfare of the general public as a whole – by providing complete expertise, professional development, technical assistance, advocacy and outreach.


The National Association of State 911 Administrators (NASNA) is the voice of the states on public policy issues impacting 911. NASNA members believe that state 911 leaders' expertise can assist industry associations, public policymakers, the private sector, and emergency communications professionals at all levels of government as they address complex issues surrounding the evolution of emergency communications.

About NENA: The 9-1-1 Association

The National Emergency Number Association (NENA) serves its more than 10,000 members and the greater public safety community as the only non-profit professional organization solely focused on 9-1-1 policy, technology, operations, and education issues. NENA ensures that 9-1-1 is prepared to meet the needs of all citizens making requests for assistance by developing standards and resources for 9-1-1 systems and operations; providing education, training, and certifications for 9-1-1 professionals; informing policymakers about issues facing 9-1-1; and educating the public about 9-1-1 systems, their importance, and their proper uses. Learn more at nena.org.

About West's Safety Services

West is in the business of 9-1-1, but it's also personal. After all, we're potential consumers of the most essential service anyone requires. We help carriers, alarm companies and organizations of all sizes connect millions of subscribers, employees, students and end users to the nearest emergency assistance, and we arm thousands of public safety agencies and first responders with critical data points to locate those individuals and coordinate the best response. As innovations emerge to make our lives more connected and convenient, we focus on the ones that make us all safer. For more information, visit www.west.com/safety-services/

About ATIS

As a leading technology and solutions development organization, the Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions (ATIS) brings together the top global ICT companies to advance the industry's most pressing business priorities. ATIS' nearly 200 member companies are currently working to address 5G, the All-IP transition, network functions virtualization, big data analytics, cloud services, device solutions, emergency services, M2M, cyber security, network evolution, quality of service, billing support, operations, and much more. These priorities follow a fast-track development lifecycle -- from design and innovation through standards, specifications, requirements, business use cases, software toolkits, open source solutions, and interoperability testing. For more information, visit www.atis.org.

ATIS' Emergency Services Interconnection Forum (ESIF) facilitates the identification and resolution of technical and/or operational issues related to the interconnection of emergency services networks with other networks (e.g., wireline, cable, satellite, Internet, etc.). ESIF's Emergency Services and Methodologies (ESM) subcommittee develops practical requirements that ensure consistent, valid, verifiable, and reproducible location data in a variety of access environments, and has developed numerous testing methodology and test plan documents for use by the industry in evaluating location technologies. Learn more at www.atis.org/ESIF.


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