Critical-control-rooms | 2022-03-22

ETSI Advanced Mobile Location standard now mandatory on all European smartphones for emergency calls

Source: The Critical Communications Review | Gert Jan Wolf editor

AML is supported by the main two operating systems, iOS and Android, and is already deployed in 30 countries worldwide.

Since 17 March all smartphones sold in Europe are required to comply with Advanced Mobile Location for emergency communications. AML was standardized in ETSI TS 103 625 by the ETSI technical committee on emergency communications (EMTEL) in December 2019. It is already helping emergency services dispatch the needed resources efficiently in Europe and worldwide.

AML meets the requirements of the Delegated Regulation 2019/320 which makes it mandatory that all the smartphones sold in the European single market send the caller’s handset-derived location information when launching an emergency communication. The legislation specifically requires that smartphones process data from Global Navigation Systems, compatible and interoperable with at least the Galileo system, and Wi-Fi data to establish the caller's position. AML is a protocol to transport the data (using SMS and/or HTTPS) from the smartphone to the emergency call centre. It provides the accurate location of the caller to the Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) in a manner that is compliant with privacy regulations.

Accurate caller location in an emergency is one of the most significant pieces of information for emergency call takers. Caller location can have a huge impact on the safety of citizens in many ways and helps reduce response times. In Europe, over 70% of calls to emergency services come from a mobile phone.

“The entry into application of this legislation is a major step for people’s safety in Europe, as it ensures certainty that smartphones in Europe will continue to integrate this life-saving technology,” says Cristina Lumbreras, Chair of ETSI TC EMTEL. “ETSI specification makes it easy for countries to implement AML and requires minimum investment. For users, as AML is not an app, there is no need to download anything, just dial 112”.

In parallel, ETSI is finalizing ETSI TS 103 825 that will provide the Test Purposes to develop AML test descriptions for handsets. This new standard will help Notified Bodies assess the compliance of manufacturers’ smartphones with AML.