Mobile networks ready for eCall, the pan-European emergency call system
Sep 16, 2011
- Recommendation of the EU Commission: from 2015 on, eCall system to be made compulsory in new vehicles
- In case of an accident, the vehicle will automatically generate a call to 112, the number for local emergency services
- Emergency calls on the fast lane: stable "Fast Lane" line via mobile network
Deutsche Telekom is all set for the scheduled launch of eCall, the pan-European emergency call system for vehicles. "The automatic emergency call system from the vehicle will give further impetus to the trend of connecting vehicles to the Internet. Apart from eCall, carmakers also have the opportunity to offer additional online services", explains Reinhard Clemens, Member of the Board of Management at Deutsche Telekom AG and T-Systems CEO, during the International Motor Show, IAA. A field test concluded in late 2010 demonstrated that the mobile networks of Telekom and the roaming partners are suited for international emergency services. Over several months, three cars equipped with eCall systems transmitted 15,000 test emergency calls during their test runs through 16 EU countries. All signals were relayed without any delay to the emergency call centers of the respective countries.
The European Commission calls for all new vehicles to be equipped with eCall systems from 2015 on. This has been provided for in the European Commission's latest recommendation to EU member states with the aim of further reducing traffic fatalities. In the EU, around 40,000 people are killed in road accidents each year. According to the EU Commission, the international emergency system can save around 2,500 lives a year. Estimates also show a 15 percent drop in the number of casualties involving seriously injured persons.
For the eCall system, car manufacturers must permanently install a SIM card and GPS module in the vehicle's on-board computer. The triggering device of the eCall system is linked to the airbag sensors. In case of a serious accident, the eCall system automatically transmits the GPS coordinates of the vehicle, the time, the vehicle identification number (chassis number) and also information such as how many seat belts have been fastened to 112, the standard emergency call center number across the EU. The emergency call center staff can thereupon immediately send rescue and/or emergency medical services to the accident site, or try to establish a voice connection to the person/s in the vehicle.
The mobile networks must be able to connect an eCall reliably. Identifying the location also plays an important role, since the coordinates of the accident site have to be relayed. For these reasons, routing of emergency calls is given priority in Deutsche Telekom networks. Deutsche Telekom's Master Service Management Center (MSMC) in Bonn ensures this "Fast Lane" service for all emergency calls across the EU. 100 MSMC employees working 24/7 guarantee trouble-free operation. "In our networks, emergency calls over a so-called 'Fast Lane' always have the right of way. We monitor not only all radio cells in Germany but also those of our mobile communication subsidiaries in Western and Eastern Europe", says Georg Brömmelhues, Head of MSMC, and adds, "We are therefore in a position to immediately identify any interference in the radio field as well as faults or disruption of services involving, for instance, current emergency calls or also the eCall system".
About Deutsche Telekom
Deutsche Telekom is one of the world's leading integrated telecommunications companies with around 128 million mobile customers, 35 million fixed-network lines and approximately 17 million broadband lines (as of June 30, 2011). The Group provides products and services for the fixed network, mobile communications, the Internet and IPTV for consumers, and ICT solutions for business customers and corporate customers. Deutsche Telekom is present in over 50 countries and has around 241,000 employees worldwide. The Group generated revenues of EUR 62.4 billion in the 2010 financial year - more than half of it outside Germany (as of December 31, 2010).
Drawing on a global infrastructure of data centers and networks, T-Systems operates information and communication technology (ICT) systems for multinational corporations and public sector institutions. On this basis, Deutsche Telekom's corporate customers arm provides integrated solutions for the future of a connected business world and society. Some 47,600 employees at T-Systems combine industry expertise with ICT innovations to add significant value to customers' core business all over the world. The corporate customers arm generated revenue of around EUR 9.1 billion in the 2010 financial year.
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