Thursday, January 08, 2009

VoIP - emergency calls

TIA Releases Wireless VoIP Emergency Specs

The Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) is offering a series of technical specifications for emergency calls made using Voice over IP (VoIP) over wireless broadband.

TIA’s specs, designated “TIA-1133 All-IP Network Emergency Call Support - Stage 1 Requirements,” are “intended to develop the generic emergency call system capability in an All-IP Network that can be used to support the ‘Emergency Call’ in accordance with any regional regulatory requirements,” TIA says.

The group adds, “The introduction of VoIP in High Rate Packet Data (HRPD) wireless local area network (WLAN) and other air interfaces necessitated and emphasized the importance of adding support for emergency calls in these communications platforms.” It also notes it has written TIA-1133 in such a way that it has the flexibility to accommodate differing demands that might be made by various regulatory authorities, explaining, “this specification is intended to provide a general functionality with the flexibility needed to support variances in regional regulatory requirements.”

One of the keys to the new spec is giving emergency calls priority over other traffic on the broadband network. “Emergency services may require priority treatment, such as providing a high-quality bearer path regardless of subscription,” TIA notes. The full list of system requirements outlined in TIA-1133 includes emergency call establishment, emergency call routing, callback, geographical location of caller, emergency call continuity, call detail record and interactions with other wireless services.

The TIA also is considering extending the scope of its new standard to include support for additional media during an emergency call, including text messaging, and sending and receiving pictures and video signals as well as support for improved voice quality enabled by means of a wideband codec over VoIP.

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