Consumers will be able to text and send multimedia messages to 9-1-1 emergency call centers under a new plan from the U.S. Ferderal Communications Commission (FCC).
FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski unveiled a plan on Wednesday to help emergency response communications catch up to technically advanced mobile devices.
"It's hard to imagine that airlines can send text messages if your flight is delayed, but you can't send a text message to 9-1-1 in an emergency," Genachowski said.
The FCC is expected to propose rules in September that will address the technical issues behind enabling text, photo and video transmissions to 9-1-1. Of particular concern to the agency will be ensuring that the country's broadband infrastructure can handle the bandwidth that new public safety answering points will need.
An FCC official said widespread next-generation 9-1-1 services could be available in the next five to 10 years if the FCC acts and adequate funding is made available for equipment upgrades.
The FCC is also looking at ways to more quickly get the texting component operational.
Next-generation 9-1-1 services will allow first responders to better assess emergencies with the ability to see photos and videos of an accident while still enroute. The IP-based infrastructure will also bring more reliability to the 9-1-1 network compared with the current circuit-switched system.
(Editing by Philip Barbara)
Historically, network infrastructure is the most expensive component in a mobile operator's overall CAPEX, which holds true in China, the biggest and fastest growing 4G market in the world. This report provides an in-depth overview of market revenue, equipment shipments, and the competitive landscape for carriers. Buy now
This report assesses the overall Sensor marketplace for IoT, evaluates leading vendors, identifies key IoT functionality, and forecasts the market for sensor adoption and revenue. Key areas covered include Sensor hardware and software design, protocols for Wireless Sensor Networks, as well as Sensor Data Fusion, Multi-sensing and Soft Sensors. Buy now