Public safety is enhanced by rapid and efficient 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 communications networks.

In our era of ubiquitous smart mobile phones public safety is again enhanced, allowing not only contacting emergency services through the emergency numbers (e.g. 112, 911) but enlarging emergency communications to other media like video or real time text and data as well as delivering crucial associated information as the precise location of the caller to emergency services.

Public safety is also strengthened by public warning systems ready to alert citizens in case of imminent danger depending on the location and evolution of the emergency situation.

A significant part of the Standards work related to Public Safety is in the need for emergency communications, being quick and efficient, 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

Emergency Communications (EMTEL)

The EMTEL Committee is responsible for the capture of European requirements concerning emergency communication services, covering typically the four scenarios in case of an emergency e.g. communication of citizens with authorities, from authorities to citizens, between authorities and amongst citizens. In addition, EMTEL deals with topics like location (e.g. Advanced Mobile Location), Next Generation 112 (NG112) opening emergency services communications to data, video and text, communications involving IoT devices in emergency situations and alerting.

Also, EMTEL addresses Total Conversation Access to emergency services, a combination of three media in a conversational call (video, real-time text and audio), that may help people with disabilities who, for example, need video for sign language or real-time text for a text based conversation or as complement to a voice conversation.

Beyond the delivery of specifications EMTEL is involved with Conformance testing and Plugtests, e.g. NG112 Communications.

Satellite Earth Stations & Systems

ETSI is preparing standards in the area of satellite communication systems including satellite emergency communication, in particular involving broadband services. ETSI SES has answered to the European space mandate (M/496) to develop standards for the space industry, more particularly concerning disaster management. The committee has also prepared technical specifications for GNSS based location systems.


Terrestrial Trunked Radio (TETRA) is a digital Private Mobile Radio (PMR) and Public Access Mobile Radio (PAMR) technology for critical communications e.g. police, ambulance and fire services, security services, utilities, military, public access, fleet management, transport services, closed user groups, factory site services, mining.

TETRA standards are complete and revised when needed.


The Third Generation Partnership Project deals with a number of 3G/4G/5G services dedicated to public safety, e.g. 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.

3GPPTM has also produced standards for eCall, an in-vehicle emergency call service which will allow data generated during a road traffic accident or similar incident to be routed to a Public Service Access Point (PSAP) as part of an emergency call automatically instigated by the vehicle. This work has involved liaison with ETSI Technical Committee Mobile Standards Group (MSG).

The 3GPP SA WG6 is a dedicated group for Critical Communications applications and is responsible for the definition, evolution and maintenance of technical specification(s) for application layer functional elements and interfaces supporting critical communications (e.g. Mission Critical Push To Talk and Mission Critical Video).


A list of related standards in the public domain is accessible via the ETSI standards search.