Activity report 2018-2019

Special Committee (SC) Emergency Telecommunications (EMTEL)

Chairman: Daniel Voisard, OFCOM (CH)

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.

In 2018 ETSI’s Emergency Telecommunications committee (SC EMTEL) focused particularly 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).

SC EMTEL published a TS on the requirements, the functional architecture, the protocol and the procedures for implementing the Pan-European Mobile Emergency Application (PEMEA), making it possible for the data of hundreds of emergency calling applications in use across Europe to arrive at the most appropriate PSAP, wherever the call is made.

In perspective of a third Next Generation 112 (NG112) Emergency Communications Plugtests being held beginning of 2019, SC EMTEL continued to work on a TS and a TR related to future networks dedicated to emergency services (NG112). The TS, due for publication in 2019, describes the core elements and corresponding technical interfaces for network independent access to emergency services, currently named NG112 architecture.

This work is completed with a TR, also scheduled for publication by 2019, describing the test cases and scenarios for interoperability testing of the core elements for independent access networks. These scenarios will include location-based and policy-based emergency call routing, network- or handset-derived caller location (e.g. Advanced Mobile Location - AML) as well as legacy, IP, enterprise/campus, and IMS-based access networks.

A new Work Item for a specification dedicated AML was initiated, based on an earlier published EMTEL TR on AML, with the aim to finalize the standard by mid-June 2019, as AML is likely to be implemented in most of European countries.

As part of the digitalization of the economy and society, the IoT technologies are invading all application domains, including services for emergency support. However, requirements for communications involving IoT devices in emergency situations have not yet been specified to complement the existing requirements for communications involving people and their devices. In this context, an STF has been set up at the initiative of EMTEL and worked on a report to prepare the requirements for communications involving IoT devices in all types of emergency situations (e.g. communications of individuals with authorities/organizations, between authorities/organizations, from authorities/organizations to the individuals, amongst individuals). This TR, taking into account work already done in other projects such as oneM2M and 3GPP, will be published in June 2019.

In 2012 EMTEL published a TS on the European Public Warning System (EU-ALERT) using the Cell Broadcast Service. The current version of the EU-Alert specification mentions LTE as a future technology, but a general overhaul is needed to support 5G and to sync with the developments for Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) / Commercial Mobile Alert System (CMAS). The revised TS will be published in early 2019.

New work for 2019 will 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).

SC EMTEL liaises with organisations outside ETSI such the Electronic Communications Committee of the European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications Administrations (CEPT ECC) and the Global Standards Collaboration (GSC). SC EMTEL also follows the activities of organisations such as 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).

In this context, SC EMTEL participated to a second Joint EMTEL – ECC PT ES Workshop in October 2018 in Sophia Antipolis. The purpose of the workshop was to gather the two groups, to present their respective work in 2018 and to determine potential synergies allowing a complementary development of the works relative to emergency telecommunications. The presence of different stakeholders (regulators, operators, solution providers, emergency services and public safety users) generated a very constructive dialogue and further workshops will continue in the future to strengthen the links between the two groups active in emergency telecommunications.

Look out for in 2019 – SC EMTEL work in progress:

  • Technical Specifications (TS) on conformance test specifications for core elements for network independent access to emergency services (NG112)
  • TS on use of mobile handset location for emergency calls - AML
  • Technical Report (TR) on communications using IoT devices in provision of emergency situations
  • TR on interoperability testing of core elements for network independent access to emergency services
  • TS on core elements for network independent access to emergency services
  • Revision to TR on Collection of European Regulatory Texts and orientations