Public Safety


Public safety is enhanced by good communications, whether as a result of Professional Mobile Radio (PMR) or its close relation; Public Access Mobile Radio (PAMR) or via resilient and secure public [tele]communications networks.

It is very difficult to underestimate the contribution that Public Telephones have made to public safety and particularly the contribution that the emergency numbers (911, 112, 999, etc) have made.

In the new era of ubiquitous mobile phones public safety is again enhanced, with many mobile phones allowing the emergency number to be dialled when the keypad is locked or even when the terminal has no active SIM card.

A significant part of the Standards work related to Public Safety is in the need for emergency telecommunications, which includes many scenarios ranging from a minor road traffic accident to a major incident like a passenger train crash, a terrorist incident or a natural disaster such as an earthquake or tsunami.

Our Role & Activities

ETSI Special Committee Emergency Communications (EMTEL) is responsible for the creation of requirements concerning emergency communication services. The committee has completed its full set of specifications governing communications in times of emergency, covering communication of citizens with authorities, from authorities to citizens, between authorities and amongst citizens.

New reports on the suitability of the Short Message Service (SMS) and Cell Broadcast Service (CBS) for emergency messaging and on the requirements for emergency communications network resiliency were also published. A study of emergency calls and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) has been finalized.

Project MESA

Project MESA (Mobility for Emergency and Safety Applications) was a transatlantic partnership project, established by ETSI and the North American Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA). It has now achieved its mission and is closed.

For more information, see the MESA web site


The Third Generation Partnership Project deals with a number of 3G services dedicated to public safety: the Priority Service and Multimedia Priority Service, the Voice Group Call Service (VGCS) for public authority officials, the transferring of emergency call data and the Public Warning System.

3GPP™ specifications already support the high-level requirements identified for Priority Service, and 3GPPTM is now augmenting the existing standards for Multimedia Priority.

As a result of ETSI security workshops and the ETSI security White Paper, and in response to the need for effective methods of dealing with the consequences of downloading and activating a virus on a mobile telephone, new work has been done on the Selective Disabling of User Entity (UE) Capabilities. This work is included in 3GPPTM Release 7.

See for more details.


Terrestrial Trunked Radio (TETRA) is deployed in over 88 countries worldwide, with the main market being amongst national public safety organizations.

TETRA Release 1 and the core of the TETRA Release 2 standard are already complete; standardization work on the TETRA Enhanced Data Service (TEDS), the Peripheral Equipment Interface (PEI) and the TEDS Designer's Guide has been finalized.

ETSI also revised several of the TETRA standards to take into account user feedback from field experience.

ETSI Technical Committee SAFETY

ETSI technical committee SAFETY provides ETSI with a centre of technical expertise in the safety fields, able to offer advice to other ETSI technical committees, the ETSI Board and the ETSI General Assembly.

Proofing Products against Crime

A new area with significant potential for new standards, Proofing Products against Crime involves integrating or embedding crime-prevention features into products - to reduce their potential to become targets of criminal activity (such as theft, fraud or damage), as well as preventing their use as instruments of crime.

The term 'product' encompasses physical objects, electronic information, electronic services and computer software. The European Commission has requested action from the European Standards Organisations on this topic.

ETSI's first contribution is a pdfWhite Paper on Proofing Products against Crime, which presents the key concepts of crime proofing of ICT products.


The following is a list of public safety related standards. Please use the ETSI standards search to find further related standards in the public domain or to subscribe for alerts on updates of ETSI standards.

For work in progress see the ETSI Work Programme on the Portal.

Standard No.Standard Title
SR 002 180 Requirements for communication of citizens with authorities/organizations in case of distress (emergency call handling)
TR 102 513 Feasibility Study into the Implications of Operating Public Safety Sector (PSS) TEDS using the proposed ' Tuning Range' concept in the 410 MHz to 430 MHz and 450 MHz to 470 MHz frequency bands
TR 102 445 Overview of Emergency Communications Network Resilience and Preparedness
TR 102 444 Analysis of the Short Message Service (SMS) and Cell Broadcast Service (CBS) for Emergency Messaging applications;
Emergency Messaging; SMS and CBS
TS 102 182 Requirements for communications from authorities/organizations to individuals, groups or the general public during emergencies
TR 170 003 Service Specification Group - Services and Applications;
Basic requirements
TR 170 012 Technical Specification Group - System;
System Overview
TR 101 870 Fixed radio transmitter sites;
Exposure to non-ionising electromagnetic fields;
Guidelines for working conditions