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May 26, 2011

911 Services: TeleCommunications Systems Obtains Patents for Next Generation 911 Technologies

By Tammy Wolf, TMCnet Web Editor

Mobile communications technology provider TeleCommunications Systems, Inc, has received six U.S. public safety communications patents that encompass wireless, location, VoIP, and next-generation 911 technologies.

As much of the nation is moving to implement innovative technologies to meet 911 services standards, TeleCommunications Systems has issued these patents in its commitment to proactively develop up-to-date, reliable solutions.

The first invention, “Ancillary Data Support in Session Initiation Protocol (News - Alert) Messaging” (U.S. Patent No. 7, 929,530), is an ancillary server capable of holding pictures, videos and files associated with an E911 call. Geared toward members of public safety committees, operators and third-party information providers, the server would be extremely valuable in any emergency situation.

U.S. Patent No. 7,903,587, a “Wireless Emergency Services Protocols Translator Between ANSI-41 and VoIP Emergency Services Protocol,” is a protocol converter used to translate communications between SS7-based wireless networks and VoIP networks to allow VoIP and wireless operators to stay on their existing infrastructure for E911 call routing.

When a call is transferred to a public safety answering point (PSAP), today’s VoIP E911 calls unfortunately don’t convey a caller’s location or callback number. However, the “Enhanced E911 Location Information Using VoIP” possesses an apparatus for routing correct location data and callback number to the PSAP serving on the VoIP E911 call’s initial location.

In cases in which calls consisting of extra safety personnel need to be routed to a different emergency center, the “VoIP Location-Based 911 Conferencing” invention (U.S. Patent No. 7,903,791) enables an emergency call center to easily add participants or reroute a call through an emergency call conference bridge.

Placing a 911 call from a mobile phone poses quite the issue, as the location of the caller isn’t automatically provided to the PSAP. An invention, called “Solutions for VoIP 911 Location Services” (U.S. Patent No. 7,907,551), retrieves a location for the mobile VoIP terminal through the establishment of a protected and continuous communications link between a device and a location server, which includes the device’s street address.

The last invention will come in use in areas that frequently experience natural disasters like tornadoes, and, of course, in instances of targeted attacks. The “Emergency Alert for VoIP” (U.S. Patent No. 7,933,385) will notify unregistered mobile VoIP users in a targeted area through an apparatus that allows an emergency contact center to contact a VoIP Positioning Center. By maintaining the location of VoIP devices, the positioning center can then send an alert out to all applicable VoIP users.

Tammy Wolf is a TMCnet web editor. She covers a wide range of topics, including IP communications and information technology. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Rich Steeves

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