GSMA recently welcomed the European Commission’s (EU) recommendation on technology for the pan-European eCall regulation. The European Commission has selected ‘embedded mobile’ for its in-vehicle emergency call services mandate over other connectivity means such as smartphone integration or tethered solutions.
The regulation requires all new models of cars in member states to have eCall fitted from 2015, which will connect a vehicle to emergency services following a collision and provide vital location and impact information. This will speed the arrival of emergency teams by an estimated 40 percent in urban areas and 50 percent in rural areas, and could help save up to 2500 lives in the EU annually.
The successful deployment of eCall requires member states to put in place a framework for their public safety answering points (PSAPs), or emergency call centres, to effectively route eCall messages and maintain technical compatibility, interoperability and continuity. Not every emergency call centre across the EU will be optimized for eCall, therefore member states need to tell mobile operators which PSAPs have been optimized, as it will not always be the closest call center to an incident, so that eCall messages are routed correctly.