New system sends SMS with caller’s position when emergency call made

Mobile-locater system developed by Google can be installed on Android phones

Ministers Denis Naughten and Michael Ring unveil the new AML technology. Photograph: Marc O’Sullivan

Ministers Denis Naughten and Michael Ring unveil the new AML technology. Photograph: Marc O’Sullivan

 

A new system giving emergency services the exact location of callers goes live in Ireland today.

The system, known as Advanced Mobile Location (AML), has been developed by Google in association with the European Emergency Number Association (EENA) and can be installed on all Android phones.

The association has called on Apple to integrate AML into its operating system, but Apple appears to have ignored the requests so far.

AML-enabled smartphones activate the Global Navigation Satelite System (GNSS) to obtain the caller’s location information once an emergency call is made.

It then sends an automatic SMS to the emergency services containing the caller’s exact location. The service can use wifi instead of GNSS, depending on which is better in a given situation.

AML is not an app and will be automatically available on Android smartphones as users upgrade to the newest available software, or register their phone for AML on GooglePlay.

Speaking at the announcement of the new service this morning, the Minister for Communications, Denis Naughten, said: “The Emergency Call Answering Service receives on average 4,000 mobile calls per day and in Ireland, Android market penetration stands at over 50 per cent.

“This means the new system will be a huge benefit to people in need and to the emergency services across the country, but particularly in rural areas. I want to acknowledge Google for driving this new technology that will have a major impact in people’s lives.”

Minister for Rural and Community Development Michael Ring added: “This type of new technology is exactly the development that is needed for people in rural Ireland.

“It will lead to quicker response times and potentially save lives. I am working on connecting communities, and this technology adds significantly to building a more connected and safer Ireland.”

Anne Rooney, Google’s Irish public policy manager, said: “Emergency respondents provide an important and noble service to the community. We’re pleased to help the emergency services in Ireland reach whoever needs their help quickly and more efficiently with AML.”