T-Mobile and Sinch Increase 911 Accessibility

By Greg Tavarez, TMCnet Editor  |  November 04, 2022

911 calls are calls that no one wants to make. When those calls have to be made, however, it is imperative to deliver communication quickly as every second matters. Sure, voice typically is the easiest and quickest way to communicate, but difficulties do rise up with people who are hard of hearing or are not native English speakers. In other situations, heavy background noise may make voice communication difficult. Unfortunately, there may also be instances where voice could actually be dangerous.

To prevent critical seconds from being wasted in emergency situations, T-Mobile partnered with Sinch, a cloud communications platform solutions provider, to launch NextGen (News - Alert) 911 Real-Time Text, RTT.

Through the NextGen 911 RTT technology, T-Mobile customers communicate with 911 through simultaneous conversational text and voice without the need for teletype technology. This technology is of major importance for Americans who are hard of hearing, have speech-related disabilities or are non-native English speakers. Public safety centers also make better-informed dispatch decisions during a crisis and cut time off a response with RTT.

"Real-time texting is an important advancement because it allows the requestor and receiver to type at the same time and saves precious seconds, which are critical to successfully managing emergency calls and protecting the community," said Chandy Ghosh, general manager and chief operating officer of emergency services at Sinch.

Before collaborating with Sinch to provide 911 RTT, T-Mobile (News - Alert) built native RTT features into its devices in 2016 to give customers the ability to utilize modern conversational text capabilities and allows a text to be sent and read at the same time without the need to hit send or use a specialized device. T-Mobile then launched location-based routing and NG911 connectivity over IP in 2020 that speed up emergency response times by helping pinpoint the location of callers and enable a more efficient and effective 911 system.

These advancements paved the way for NextGen 911 RTT at an emergency contact center in Hood County, Texas.

"T-Mobile's advanced LTE (News - Alert) network and nationwide 5G network enables game changing technologies like this NextGen 911 RTT that will help people and public safety centers communicate more quickly and more clearly in a crisis and ultimately save lives," said Neville Ray (News - Alert), president of technology at T-Mobile.

T-Mobile and Sinch plan to expand RTT nationwide as PSAPs across the country prepare to deploy the new technology.




Edited by Erik Linask