Technical Committee (TC) Emergency Telecommunications (EMTEL) Activity Report 2021

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 organizations involved in this field

Our Emergency Communications Technical Committee (TC EMTEL) is focused on the access to emergency services through different media, data transmission to public safety answering points, networks and IoT (Internet of Things) devices in the provision of emergency situations and in the context of the European Public Warning System.

Much of the committee’s work is centred on Next Generation 112 (NG 112) services, involving communications between IoT devices in emergency situations. The scope of this work includes the architecture, core elements and technical interfaces for network-independent access to emergency services. 

In 2021 SC EMTEL formally converted to a Technical Committee. During the year Next Generation 112 (NG112) services continued to be a key topic, with the NG112 architecture being revised, as well as the Advanced Mobile Location (AML) specification and test descriptions planned to be produced by TTF (Testing Task Force) 009 for both topics. 

Developed by TTF 009 in response to the needs of conformance test specifications for vendors, TS 103 825 is a Technical Specification describing test purposes of the AML (Advance Mobile Location) for handset equipment. Publication is anticipated in January 2022 to be ready when the Delegated Regulation (EU) 2019/320 – to include caller location in emergency communications from mobile devices – is enforced in March 2022.

Published in November, TS 103 756 represents complementary specifications to The Pan-European Mobile Emergency Application (PEMEA) specification with PEMEA Instant Message Extension. The specification covering PEMEA ESInet Shared Services is still under development.

During the year all of the committee’s published Technical Specifications and Technical Reports published since 2006 were reviewed to check if any revisions were needed. This activity resulted in the adoption of a number of new Work Items. A full list of current WI – including revisions to existing publications – can be viewed here.

From 22 February to 5 March ETSI successfully conducted the fourth NG112 Emergency Communications remote Plugtests™ event. The first ever transatlantic emergency communications interoperability testing event gave vendors the opportunity to assess compatibility of products for mission-critical public safety services against different implementations and scenarios. The virtual event was conducted in cooperation with ETSI, EENA, the European Emergency Number Association, and – for the first time – NENA, the 9-1-1 Association. Participants tested components of the emergency communication chain such as location and location-based call routing, audio, video, real-time text, policy based routing and core services based on ETSI TS 103 479, developed by SC EMTEL. 285 test pairings were performed, with 87% demonstrating successful interoperability. Plans for a further event in 2022 are currently in development.

In October 2021 the EMTEL Chair participated in a panel discussion on ‘Implementing Next Generation 112’ at the EENA Conference on EMTEL activities in Riga, focusing on standardization and tests events performed by ETSI.

Throughout the year EMTEL continued its liaison with organizations outside ETSI such the Electronic Communications Committee of the European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications Administrations (CEPT ECC). 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), the Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions (ATIS) and various fora and consortia, including the Internet Engineering Task Force working group on Emergency Context Resolution with Internet Technologies (IETF-ECRIT).