Advertisement

A recent report from the National 911 Program has underscored the importance of next generation 911 networks as the United States population increasingly relies on mobile devices.

According to the 2015 National 911 Progress Report, which was released last month and includes data from 2014, 76 percent of all 911 calls last year came from cell phones. The figure represents an increase of six percentage points over 2013 findings in which 70 percent of calls came from mobile devices.

The increase in wireless calls cames alongside a corresponding decrease in wireline calls, which dropped from 25 percent of all calls in 2013 to just 21 percent of all calls in 2014.

In total, 129.4 million mobile 911 calls were received in 2014, followed by nearly 37 million wireline calls, 3.5 million Voice over IP calls, 1.1 million Multi-line Telephone System (MLTS) calls. Just over 1,100 texts-to-911 were received by the 42 states and territories that provided data for the report.

According to the report, 19 out of 42 states surveyed said they had adopted a statewide next generation 911 plan, but only 11 states reported statewide installation and testing of that service.

The report noted that next generation 911 systems were fully operational in just 14 percent of reporting states in 2014 and in progress in another 19 percent.

But those figures will likely improve as the roll out of next generation services continues.

Earlier this month AT&T launched a new service to help 911 agencies upgrade their old emergency networks to IP technology.

The new service – dubbed ESInet – can handle both voice calls and texts and will also support picture and video messaging in the future.

AT&T said the service is expected to become available in the second half of 2016 and will serve as its leading next generation 911 offer across the carrier’s 21-state footprint.

Advertisement
Advertisement