Special Committee (SC) Emergency Telecommunications (EMTEL) Activity Report 2019

Chair: Cristina Lumbreras, EENA

Responsible for identifying the operational and technical requirements of those involved in the provision of emergency communications, for conveying these requirements to other ETSI committees and for liaison with other organisations involved in this field.

The responsibilities of our Special Committee for Emergency Communications (SC EMTEL) include:

  • Capturing requirements from stakeholders (including National Authorities responsible for provisioning emergency communications, end users, the European Commission, communication service providers, network operators, manufacturers and other interested parties)
  • Developing consensus on both operational and technical needs amongst stakeholders, and reflecting this in requirement documents, which will be used by the technical bodies of SDOs
  • Providing requirements, to relevant TB's on definition and optimization of generic network architectures to support horizontal integration of different standards under a common umbrella of requirements for EMTEL
  • Providing requirements on issues of network security, network integrity, network behaviour in emergency situations, and emergency telecommunications needs in networks
  • Serving as an interface between ETSI and CEC/EFTA as well as other bodies, e.g. 3GPP, ITU, the CEPT ECC, CEN and CENELEC, Global Standards Collaboration (GSC) in conjunction with the ETSI Secretariat, with respect to emergency communications issues
  • Co-ordinating ETSI positions on EMTEL related issues 

In 2019 SC EMTEL maintained its focus on emergency applications for smartphones, networks for emergency services and their conformance, IoT devices in provision of emergency situations and the European Public Warning System (EU-ALERT).

In particular, much of our work during the year was focused on Next Generation 112 services. This includes the architecture, core elements and corresponding technical  interfaces for network-independent access to emergency services.

Also in relation to NG112, work progressed on a TS to describe test cases and scenarios for interoperability testing of the architecture and core elements for independent access networks. Scenarios cover for instance location based and policy-based emergency call routing, network or handset derived caller location (e.g. AML) as well as legacy, IP, enterprise/campus, and IMS based access networks.

Work neared completion on a two-part Technical Specification on NG112 Conformance test specifications for core elements for network independent access to emergency services.

A further Work Item was launched in 2019 on Lightweight Messaging Protocol for Emergency Service Accessibility. This will define a SIP SIMPLE based Instant Messaging for Emergency Service accessibility utilizing NG112 core services.

The third NG112 Emergency Communications Plugtests event took place in January 2019 at ETSI.

5G and the IoT (Internet of Things) present significant possibilities to enhance the efficiency of mission-critical communications in a range of public safety scenarios. For example, emergency alerts to relevant authorities could be triggered by fire sensors in buildings, flood warning sensors or wearable health monitors. Drawing on previous work in oneM2M and 3GPP, in July SC EMTEL published a Technical Report giving recommendations on the use of IoT devices in various use cases, such as providing vital information to ‘blue light’ services or triggering other actions in the event of an emergency.

Updates progressed on our TS describing requirements for communications from authorities/organizations to individuals, groups or the general public during emergencies to add new information like taking suggestions from STF-555, our study of use cases and communications involving IoT devices in provision of emergency situations that was delivered as a TR in July.

We updated our TS on the Pan-European Mobile Emergency Application (PEMEA). This activity is ongoing.

We began revisions to our TS on requirements for communication between authorities/organizations during emergencies. These revisions reference work in 3GPP SA6 on MCX communication, and in TC SES / SatEC on reference scenarios for the deployment of emergency communications. They also consider results from STF555.

Work progressed to explore new ways to contact the emergency services via, for example, social media, texting or sending video clips, taking into account the new European legislation in this field (European Electronic Communications Code - EECC).

Revisions were made to the EU-ALERT (PWS) specification (TS 102 900), incorporating reference LTE as a future technology.

EMTEL activities - including the committee’s work relating to NG112, PWS and IoT – were showcased at several events related to public safety/critical communications. These included Critical Communications Europe (March, London), EENA annual Conference (April, Dubrovnik) and Critical Communications World (June, Kuala Lumpur).

SC EMTEL liaises with organizations outside ETSI such the Electronic Communications Committee of the European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications Administrations (CEPT ECC) and the Global Standards Collaboration (GSC). It also follows the activities of organizations including the US National Emergency Number Association (NENA), the Telecommunications Standardisation sector of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU-T), and various fora and consortia, including the Internet Engineering Task Force working group on Emergency Context Resolution with Internet Technologies (IETF-ECRIT).

During the year Liaison Statements were regularly exchanged with appropriate external groups to ETSI, including GSMA, in the context of IoT and Emergency Communications.

Look out for in 2020 – SC EMTEL work in progress

  • Technical Specification (TS) on interoperability testing of core elements for network independent access to emergency services: scenarios cover e.g. location-based and policy-based emergency call routing, network or handset derived caller location (e.g. AML) as well as legacy, IP, enterprise/campus and IMS based access networks
  • TS on Lightweight Messaging Protocol for Emergency Service Accessibility - defines SIP SIMPLE based Instant Messaging for Emergency Service accessibility utilizing NG112 core services
  • TS on NEXES Chat Instant Message Specification for Pan-European Mobile Emergency Application (PEMEA)
  • Revision to TS on requirements for communications from authorities/organizations to individuals, groups or the general public during emergencies - to include/reference work in 3GPP SA6 on MCX communication and other activities
  • Revision to TS on requirements for communication between authorities/organizations during emergencies
  • Revision to TS on Pan-European Mobile Emergency Application