AT&T launches location-based routing for emergency calls

AT&T launches location-based routing for emergency calls

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AT&T has announced that it has become the first carrier in the United States to introduce location-based routing for emergency calls placed with a cell phone.

In a press release, the new “Locate Before Route” feature will now use device GPS information to more accurately route a 9-1-1 call to the correct call center. AT&T says that the new feature will be able to locate where an emergency call came from within fifty meters, a huge improvement over the previous system which used the closest cellular tower.

With location-based routing, a device can be located and routed within 50 meters of the device location. Prior to this launch, wireless 9-1-1 calls were routed based on the location of cell towers, which can cover up to a 10-mile radius. This can cause delays in emergency response, especially when a call is made within PSAP border areas where state, county or city boundaries overlap.

The feature is already available in the following states and territories:

  • Alaska
  • Colorado
  • Hawaii
  • Idaho
  • Montana
  • Oregon
  • Washington
  • Wyoming
  • Kansas
  • Illinois
  • Iowa
  • Minnesota
  • North Dakota
  • Missouri
  • Nebraska
  • South Dakota
  • Guam

Chris Sambar, executive vice president at AT&T, called the new feature an “industry-leading public safety solution.”

“Providing our customers with reliable connectivity and high-quality service on America’s largest wireless network is what we strive for everyday at AT&T. Launching this industry-leading public safety solution allows us to ultimately help improve the connections and efficiency for our wireless customers by offering more accurate service when making emergency calls.”

The company says that the rollout will be nationwide and complete by the end of June.

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