In addition to its widely touted 5G rollout, T-Mobile wants the public to know it’s committed to safety issues, announcing it is the first stateside telecom to launch Location-Based Routing and Next Generation 911 functions. This follows last month’s mental health initiative which will allow 988 callers using T-Mobile service immediate access to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
“As the Un-carrier we innovate and push the wireless industry forward with technology firsts like this for the sake of consumers everywhere,” said Neville Ray, President of Technology at T-Mobile. “Nowhere is that more important than driving improvements in public safety.”
The new Location-Based Routing (LBR) functionality reduces the need for 911 call transfers. It leverages low latency device-based location technology to route callers directly to the correct 911 facility. Being able to connect without multiple transfers could save precious seconds in an emergency situation. T-Mobile claims that some areas with LBR installed have already seen up to a 40 percent decrease in transfers. The company is working to expand the availability of LBR, currently operating only in parts of Texas and Washington State.
The Next Generation 911 (NG911) approach handles 911 calls on an all-IP-based system. The advantage to consumers and rescue personnel is that the flow of information is both faster and is able to avoid problems that arise when many calls come in at once. Call overload, natural disaster response, and cross-jurisdictional communications should not get bogged down as can currently happen when lines get overwhelmed. T-Mobile says that the NG911 connections also have future uses, like crash detection alerts that will automatically flag 911 dispatchers when they are triggered. NG911 connectivity is in place in some areas of the T-Mobile network in Delaware, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia, and Washington state.
“Our advanced LTE and nationwide 5G network positions us better than any other operator to quickly and more accurately deliver emergency calls to Next Generation 911 systems. And that, simply stated, will make people safer,” Ray added.