Non-Voice Emergency Services in 3GPP

While going through latest changes in 3GPP I found out that this new feature “Non-Voice Emergency Services”. It is potentially a big and important feature in next generation mobile networks which are mostly IP driven.

So what is Non-Voice Emergency Services?

Traditionally all the emergency services were over voice (CS) interface, but instead it is better to have a alternative to communicate with emergency services over new IP and other traditional communication channels like SMS. This will help many subscribers to use this new type of emergency communication media when emergency arises.

These are some of the alternatives which can be used instead of traditional voice based emergency calls.

  1. Session based text messages (which does not include SMS) from citizen to emergency services
  2. Session based and session-less instant messaging type sessions with emergency services
  3. Multi-media (e.g., pictures, video clips) transfer to emergency services either during or after other communications with emergency services.
  4. Real-time video session with emergency services

In addition to support the general public, this capability would facilitate emergency communications to emergency services by individuals with special needs (e.g., hearing impaired citizens).

To avail these new features two different types of emergency services are now available in 3GPP, Next Generation Emergency Service and Non-Voice Emergency Service.

Next Generation Emergency Service:

Next Generation Emergency Service focuses on Next Generation Network (NGN) technology and does not include legacy messaging services, such as Short Messaging Service (SMS).


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