This new type of location with increased accuracy will be provided only during the management of an emergency situation and will be able to be achieved independently of the type of mobile phone used, including for those in older technologies, and the areas of determining the position will be restricted by up to 25 times in some cases.
The legislative initiative belongs to the Ministry of Research, Innovation and Digitalization (MCID), being developed together with the Special Telecommunications Service (STS) and the National Authority for Administration and Regulation in Communications (ANCOM), following consultations with mobile phone operators in Romania. The normative act will allow the implementation of a technical solution that represents a first at the level of European emergency services, being the result of analyzing the latest technologies available in the field.
“Romania now has among the best localization systems on the 112 call in Europe and the best among the EU countries with complex relief. This project is part of a wider effort to improve the location on 112, that’s why we have submitted in Parliament an amendment to the Urbanism Code by which we will require that all newly built block buildings be 3D mapped to facilitate the access of intervention agencies emergency at the precise place identified by 112”, said Sebastian Burduja, the Minister of Research, Innovation and Digitization.
Currently, during a call to 112, the location is carried out both on the basis of the coverage characteristics of the GSM cell to which the phone is connected, and on the basis of GPS, functions and sensors built into smart phones. In the first case, localization is provided in 99.9% of calls, but provides localization areas greater than 12.5 km2 for 58% of the situations, respectively greater than 50 km2 for 25% of them. Complementary to this first type of localization, the second case is based on the AML localization that is provided for approximately half of the calls made to the emergency number 112, as a result of the dependence on the mobile terminal and the limitations associated with this technology. Thus, the new configuration will allow much smaller areas, with localization precision of the order of tens or hundreds of meters, depending on the mobile communication technology used. Practically, the precise location of the call to 112 will be made both from the mobile phone and from the network.
Such a capability of the 112 Emergency Service allows for the faster intervention of the specialized Ambulance, Police, Firefighters, SMURD, Gendarmerie and Salvage crews. At the same time, it will help to locate the victims more accurately in the case of natural disasters (earthquakes, floods, avalanches, etc.) or in the case of missing or lost persons.
The legislative provisions adopted on Friday will ensure the legal framework for the realization of configurations at the level of the communication networks of public mobile operators so that they can determine with increased accuracy the geographical coordinates of the place from where 112 is called. Also at the level of the Emergency Service 112 changes will be made in the system architecture to allow receiving, processing and making available to operators and dispatchers this location information with increased accuracy.
The development process of the new functionalities will be carried out in stages, in the following months: architecture design, equipment installation, implementation and operationalization of the methods for obtaining location information, pilot testing and expansion at the national level.
In accordance with ANCOM’s policy of supporting the development of innovative services for the benefit of end users, the Authority will transfer to the state budget the amount necessary for the implementation of this project as soon as possible.
MCID, STS and ANCOM appreciate the involvement of public mobile phone operators in this vital project for the effective management of emergency situations announced at 112, their support being essential in the implementation of these tools intended to protect citizens.
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