Comtech Completes Arizona's Shift to Next-Gen 911 for Improved Emergency Response

By Greg Tavarez April 17, 2024

Being able to dial 911 and send a video of the emergency along with your call would be most helpful during an emergency, right? That's the future envisioned by Next Generation 911, or NG911. It's an upgrade to the current emergency response system, designed for our modern, tech-filled lives.

Traditionally, 911 relies on analog technology. NG911 moves to a digital system based on the IP used for web browsing. This allows for more than just voice calls. NG911 aims to let you send text messages, photos and videos to emergency call centers, also known as Public Safety Answering Points, or PSAPs.

This richer data can greatly benefit emergency response. If there was a fire, with NG911, you could send a video showing firefighters exactly what they're facing. For medical emergencies, sending a picture of someone's allergic reaction could be crucial. Text messages could be helpful for people with speech disabilities or in situations where silence is necessary.

NG911 isn't just about what you send; it's about what PSAPs receive. The system will deliver more accurate location data, pinpointing your emergency even if you can't give your address. This is especially helpful for mobile phone calls where GPS is available.

Comtech Telecommunications is a global technology company that provides NG911 as well as terrestrial and wireless network solutions, satellite and space communications technologies, and cloud native capabilities to commercial and government customers worldwide.

Recently, Comtech, in partnership with the Arizona Department of Administrations, or ADOA, successfully completed a statewide transition to Comtech’s NG911 services.

Arizona’s new statewide NG911 infrastructure is designed to enhance the ability of first responders and PSAPs to respond faster to emergencies and provide more comprehensive and reliable 911 services to Arizona residents.

“With this statewide deployment, Arizona residents benefit from a much higher rate of call reliability and new multi-media and location services, which can save critical time during emergencies,” said John Ratigan, Interim CEO of Comtech. “Comtech has worked closely with the ADOA and state leaders to integrate multiple legacy networks to create a new unified NG911 infrastructure, and we are confident this transition helps ensure residents get the help they need when seconds matter most.”

It took less than two years for Comtech and the ADOA to successfully migrate the state’s legacy 911 system to the new infrastructure. The Arizona NG911 statewide transition involved upgrading and integrating a wide range of 911 technologies, including call handling, dispatch, mapping and database systems. It also required implementing new protocols and standards to ensure interoperability and compatibility with other systems and networks.

The Arizona NG911 program modernizes the state’s emergency response capabilities and enhances the efficiency, effectiveness and reliability of 911 services, while enabling new capabilities such as geospatial location routing and improved redundancy, as well as the implementation of a new Emergency Service IP Network.

“The efficiency of this deployment can serve as a model for the rest of the U.S., and we are pleased to work with Comtech to roll out these lifesaving NG911 services to better protect Arizona residents,” said Travis Jensen, program administrator of the ADOA 911 Program. “We look forward to continuing our partnership and bringing new capabilities to residents as they become available.”

Following Arizona’s transition to NG911 services, Comtech looks to continue to expand its NG911 offerings for governments and emergency response providers around the world.

Edited by Greg Tavarez
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