Showing posts with label Emergency. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Emergency. Show all posts

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Emergency Calls in LTE/SAE Release-9

From a 3GPP presentation by Hannu Hietalahti:

Emergency calls in LTE

Regulatory requirement of emergency calls is supported in Rel-9 for LTE:
1. Detection of emergency numbers in UE
2. Indication and prioritisation of emergency calls
3. Location services, both for routing and user location data for PSAP (Public Safety Answering Point)
4. Callback is possible, but processed as normal call without exceptions

UE matches digits dialledby the user with list of known emergency numbers
1. Emergency number list in the UE is common for CS and PS domain use
2. Default 112 and 911, USIM pre-configuration, downloaded in MM procedure
3. In case of match, the UE shall initiate the call as an emergency call

In IMS emergency calls the UE translates dialled number into emergency service URN
1. Service URN with a top-level service type of "sos" as specified in RFC5031
2. Additionally, sub-service type can be added to indicate emergency category if information on the type of emergency service is known (fire, ambulance, police,…)

P-CSCF (Proxy - Call Session Control Function) must also be prepared to detect emergency call if the UE is not aware of local emergency call
1. This is backup for those cases when the (roaming) UE does not have full information of all local emergency call numbers and initiates a normal call
2. From EPC perspective, it will be a normal PDN connection

Benefit of location information
1. P-CSCF discovers the regionally correct PSAP to take the emergency call
2. PSAP gets information on the precise user location

Related Posts:

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Locating Wireless Devices Where GPS May Not Be Available

Some of you may have read my earlier posts on stealing spectrum via Femtocells and using Femtocells abroad illegally. This presentation tries to answer one such problem on how do you find the location where GPS cannot be used. This could also be used in case of Cognitive Radios. See my old blog entry here.

Thursday, 30 September 2010

RF Pattern Matching adopted in 3GPP Release-10

RF Pattern Matching is now a recognized unique location method in standards that provides carriers and OEMs with the ability to offer high accuracy location-based services that traditionally haven’t been available with low-accuracy Cell-ID based technologies. RF Pattern Matching will be incorporated into Release 10 of the 3G UMTS specifications, expected to become final in late 2010 or early 2011. This will also set the stage for opportunities to incorporate RF Pattern Matching into LTE and other future air interfaces.

“The decision to incorporate RF Pattern Matching into the 3G UMTS specifications is needed for all service providers wanting to provide the highest-SLA option for LBS as it gives them more credible options for public safety and commercial applications,” said Manlio Allegra, president and chief executive officer at Polaris Wireless. “This level of LBS accuracy will create an improved user experience for wireless customers, which ultimately generates additional revenue streams for carriers and other enterprises offering LBS applications.”

Polaris WLS™ is a patent-protected implementation of RF Pattern Matching, which provides the best network-based location performance in urban and indoor settings and is a perfect complement to A-GPS, enabling a best-in-class hybrid solution. Polaris’ WLS™ works without the RF Pattern Matching definition in standards, but standardization through 3GPP allows for future performance enhancements and provides flexibility for the solution and carrier implementations. Polaris’s current WLS products will continue to operate within existing standards.

By being included in the 3G UMTS standard, Polaris’ location technology has received further validation as one of the most accurate in the world. Polaris will now be considered a preferred provider to Tier 1 carriers and infrastructure vendors who want to add a high accuracy location solution to their technology mix that meets the new 3GPP standard.

The FCC is currently considering new E911 Phase II regulations that would improve indoor location capabilities for first responders. Using RF Pattern Matching, Polaris’ WLS™ software solution enables carriers and OEMs to be prepared to meet these new FCC requirements with little or no investment in new infrastructure or hardware.

RF Pattern Matching Discussion document presented in 3GPP is embedded below:

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Mobile Phones 'Ad-Hoc Networks'

Picture Source: Daily Telegraph

Couple of years back I blogged about MCN and ODMA concept. Another variation of this idea is now in news again.

From the Daily Telegraph:

Australian scientists have created a mobile phone that can make and receive calls in parts of the world that would normally have no reception.

The phones contain a built-in mini-tower that allows them to connect to other phones via Wi-Fi and create their own network.

Researchers at South Australia's Flinders University devised the phones to work in the event of a natural disaster or terrorist attack when normal mobile phone services had been cut off.
Dr Paul Gardiner-Stephen said the phones had been tested successfully in the remote Outback where mobiles cannot pick up a signal.

"There was absolutely no infrastructure or support for the telephones so they were acting entirely on their own to carry the calls," he said.

The phones are unlikely to replace existing mobile systems, but could be combined to create fail-safe communication.

"One of our dreams is that every phone will come out with this one day so that if there is a disaster anywhere in the world everyone's phones will then switch over to this mode as a fallback," Dr Gardiner-Stephen said.

"When the infrastructure is knocked out we still provide good service while the traditional mobile phone network provides no service."

At the moment, the signal between phones is limited to a few hundred yards, but the team hopes to expand the range in the future.

I dont see them becoming reality for quite some time to come but its an interesting concept.

This is not the first time this idea is being proposed. As I have discussed, ODMA was intended to do something similar but did not take off. MANET's are other areas that have been worked on for quite some time and you can find good ideas and journal papers. There is also this paper talking about Ad-Hoc networks for mobiles using Bluetooth.

In fact going many years back, Iridium idea was launched with something similar in mind. I remember reading jornal papers back in 1996 that mentioned that Iridium phones will work like landline phones when you are in your house and will work as cellular when out of house and in an area with cellular coverage. If there is no cellular coverage then it will rely on Satellite communication. Of-course in those days nobody thought data usage will become this popular and so it was focussed on voice. Still I cannot see this happening for many years to come.

Thursday, 3 June 2010

Quick preview of 3GPP Release-11 Features and Study items

Release 11 Features

Advanced IP Interconnection of Services

The objective is to specify the technical requirements for carrier grade inter-operator IP Interconnection of Services for the support of Multimedia services provided by IMS and for legacy voice PTSN/PLMN services transported over IP infrastructure (e.g. VoIP). These technical requirements should cover the new interconnect models developed by GSMA (i.e. the IPX interconnect model) and take into account interconnect models between national operators (including transit functionality) and peering based business trunking. Any new requirements identified should not overlap with requirements already defined by other bodies (e.g. GSMA, ETSI TISPAN). Specifically the work will cover:

• Service level aspects for direct IP inter-connection between Operators, service level aspects for national transit IP interconnect and service level aspects for next generation corporate network IP interconnect (peer-to-peer business trunking).
• Service layer aspects for interconnection of voice services (e.g. toll-free, premium rate and emergency calls).
• Service level aspects for IP Interconnection (service control and user plane aspects) between Operators and 3rd party Application Providers.

To ensure that requirements are identified for the Stage 2 & 3 work to identify relevant existing specifications, initiate enhancements and the development of the new specifications as necessary.

Release 11 Studies

Study on IMS based Peer-to-Peer Content Distribution Services

The objectives are to study IMS based content distribution services with the following aspects:

- Identifying the user cases to describe how users, operators and service providers will benefit by using/deploying IMS based content distribution services. such as with the improvement of Peer-to-Peer technology. The following shall be considered:
- Mobile access only (e.g. UTRAN, E-UTRAN, I-WLAN);
- Fixed access only (e.g. xDSL, LAN);- Fixed and mobile convergence scenarios;
- Identifying service aspects where IMS network improvements are needed to cater for content distributed services for above accesses;
- Evaluating possible impacts and improvements on network when IMS based content distribution services are deployed;
- Identifying QoS, mobility, charging and security related requirements in the case of content distribution services on IMS;
- Identifying potential copyright issues;

Study on Non Voice Emergency Services

The Non Voice Emergency Services could support the following examples of non-verbal communications to an emergency services network:

1. Text messages 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).

The objectives of this study include the following questions for Non Voice Emergency Services with media other than or in addition to voice:

1. What are the requirements for Non Voice Emergency Services?
2. What are the security, reliability, and priority handling requirements for Non Voice Emergency Services?
3. How is the appropriate recipient emergency services system (e.g., PSAP) determined?
4. Are there any implications due to roaming?
5. Are there any implications to hand-over between access networks
6. Are there any implications due to the subscriber crossing a PSAP boundary during Non Voice Emergency Services communications (e.g., subsequent text messages should go to the same PSAP)?
7. Do multiple communication streams (e.g., voice, text, video emergency services) need to be associated together?
8. What types of “call-back” capabilities are required?9. Investigate the load impact of Non Voice Emergency Services in the case of a large scale emergency event or malicious use.

Non Voice Emergency Services will be applicable to GPRS (GERAN, UTRAN) and to EPS (GERAN, UTRAN, E-UTRAN and non-3GPP).

Study on UICC/USIM enhancements

The intent of this study item is to identify use cases and requirements enabling Mobile Network Operators to distribute new services based on the USIM, to improve the customer experience and ease the portability and customisation of operator-owned and customer-owned settings from one device to another (such as APN and other 3G Notebook settings, graphical user interface, MNO brand, Connection Manager settings,…), and help in reducing operation costs and radio resources usage.

Objectives of this study item are:

-To identify use cases and requirements for new USIM
-based services taking into account the GSMA Smart SIM deliverables;
- To identify use cases and requirements for the USIM used inside terminals with specialised functionalities (e.g. radio modems, 3G Notebook terminals) taking into account the GSMA 3GNBK deliverables;
- To identify use cases and requirements to drive the evolution from the traditional USAT to a multimedia USIM toolkit support, with a particular aim to the Smart Card Web Server;

Study on Alternatives to E.164 for Machine-Type Communications

M2M demand is forecast to grow from 50M connections to over 200M by 2013. A large number of these services are today deployed over circuit-switched GSM architectures and require E.164 MSISDNs although such services do not require "dialable" numbers, and generally do not communicate with each other by human interaction.

Without technical alternative to using public numbering resources as addresses, and considering the current forecasts and pending applications for numbers made to numbering plan administration agencies, there is a significant risk that some national numbering/dialling plans will run out of numbers in the near future, which would impact not only these M2M services but also the GSM/UMTS service providers in general.

The Objective is to determine an alternative to identify individual devices and route messages between those devices. Requirements for this alternative include:

- Effectively identify addressing method to be used for end point devices
- Effectively route messaging between those devices
- Support multiple methods for delivering messages, as defined by 22.368
- Support land-based and wireless connectivity
- Make use of IP-based network architectures
- Addressing/identifiers must support mobility and roaming- support on high speed packet
-switched networks when available and on circuit-switched networks
- Consider if there are security issues associated with any alternatives

Thursday, 11 February 2010

UICC and USIM in 3GPP Release 8 and Release 9

In good old days of GSM, SIM was physical card with GSM "application" (GSM 11.11)

In the brave new world of 3G+, UICC is the physical card with basic logical functionality (based on 3GPP TS 31.101) and USIM is 3G application on a UICC (3GPP TS 31.102). The UICC can contain multiple applications like the SIM (for GSM), USIM and ISIM (for IMS). There is an interesting Telenor presentation on current and future of UICC which may be worth the read. See references below.

UICC was originally known as "UMTS IC card". The incorporation of the ETSI UMTS activities into the more global perspective of 3GPP required a change of this name. As a result this was changed to "Universal Integrated Circuit Card". Similarly USIM (UMTS Subscriber Identity Module) changed to Universal Subscriber Identity Module.

The following is from the 3G Americas Whitepaper on Mobile Broadband:

UICC (3GPP TS 31.101) remains the trusted operator anchor in the user domain for LTE/SAE, leading to evolved applications and security on the UICC. With the completion of Rel-8 features, the UICC now plays significant roles within the network.

Some of the Rel-8 achievements from standards (ETSI, 3GPP) are in the following areas:

USIM (TS 31.102)
With Rel-8, all USIM features have been updated to support LTE and new features to better support non-3GPP access systems, mobility management, and emergency situations have been adopted.

The USIM is mandatory for the authentication and secure access to EPC even for non-3GPP access systems. 3GPP has approved some important features in the USIM to enable efficient network selection mechanisms. With the addition of CDMA2000 and HRPD access technologies into the PLMN, the USIM PLMN lists now enable roaming selection among CDMA, UMTS, and LTE access systems.

Taking advantage of its high security, USIM now stores mobility management parameters for SAE/LTE. Critical information like location information or EPS security context is to be stored in USIM rather than the device.

USIM in LTE networks is not just a matter of digital security but also physical safety. The USIM now stores the ICE (In Case of Emergency) user information, which is now standardized. This feature allows first responders (police, firefighters, and emergency medical staff) to retrieve medical information such as blood type, allergies, and emergency contacts, even if the subscriber lies unconscious.

3GPP has also approved the storage of the eCall parameters in USIM. When activated, the eCall system establishes a voice connection with the emergency services and sends critical data including time, location, and vehicle identification, to speed up response times by emergency services. ECalls can be generated manually by vehicle occupants or automatically by in-vehicle sensors.

New toolkit features have been added in Rel-8 for the support of NFC, M2M, OMA-DS, DM and to enhance coverage information.

The contactless interface has now been completely integrated with the UICC to enable NFC use cases where UICC applications proactively trigger contactless interfaces.

Toolkit features have been updated for terminals with limited capabilities (e.g. datacard or M2M wireless modules). These features will be notably beneficial in the M2M market where terminals often lack a screen or a keyboard.

UICC applications will now be able to trigger OMA-DM and DS sessions to enable easier device support and data synchronization operations, as well as interact in DVB networks.

Toolkit features have been enriched to help operators in their network deployments, particularly with LTE. A toolkit event has been added to inform a UICC application of a network rejection, such as a registration attempt failure. This feature will provide important information to operators about network coverage. Additionally, a UICC proactive command now allows the reporting of the signal strength measurement from an LTE base station.

Rel-8 defined a multimedia phone book (3GPP TS 31.220) for the USIM based on OMA-DS and its corresponding JavaCard API (3GPP TS 31.221).

With IP sessions becoming prominent, an additional capability to multiplex the remote application and file management over a single CAT_TP link in a BIP session has been completed. Remote sessions to update the UICC now benefit from additional flexibility and security with the latest addition of the AES algorithm rather than a simple DES algorithm.

The security model in the UICC has been improved to allow the hosting of confidential (e.g. third party) applications. This enhancement was necessary to support new business models arising in the marketplace, with third party MVNOs, M-Payment and Mobile TV applications. These new features notably enable UICC memory rental, remote secure management of this memory and its content by the third party vendor, and support new business models supported by the Trusted Service Manager concept.

A secure channel solution has been specified that enables a trusted and secure communication between the UICC and the terminal. The secure channel is also available between two applications residing respectively on the UICC and on the terminal. The secure channel is applicable to both ISO and USB interfaces.

The role of femtocell USIM is increasing in provisioning information for Home eNodeB, the 3GPP name for femtocell. USIMs inside handsets provide a simple and automatic access to femtocells based on operator and user-controlled Closed Subscriber Group list.

Work is ongoing in 3GPP for the discovery of surrounding femtocells using toolkit commands. Contrarily to macro base stations deployed by network operators, a femtocell location is out of the control of the operator since a subscriber can purchase a Home eNodeB and plug it anywhere at any time. A solution based on USIM toolkit feature will allow the operator to identify the femtocells serving a given subscriber. Operators will be able to adapt their services based on the femtocells available.

The upcoming releases will develop and capitalize on the IP layer for UICC remote application management (RAM) over HTTP or HTTPS. The network can also send a push message to UICC to initiate a communication using TCP protocol.

Additional guidance is also expected from the future releases with regards to the M2M dedicated form factor for the UICC that is currently under discussion to accommodate environments with temperature or mechanical constraints surpassing those currently specified by the 3GPP standard.

Some work is also expected to complete the picture of a full IP UICC integrated in IP-enabled terminal with the migration of services over EEM/USB and the capability for the UICC to register on multicast based services (such as mobile TV).

Further Reading:

Monday, 28 September 2009

Paging Permission with Access Control (PPAC) Study in Release 8

A new feature that was studied part of 3GPP Release 8 was PPAC (Paging Permission with Access Control). The aim of this feature was that in an emergency situation, the network can get congested and as a result all access is barred except for emergency services. This can cause problem when the user requires to be contacted but is unreachable.

Lets take Case 1: Disaster risk management office in government calls to emergency responder within disaster areas in order to supply temporary service to the disaster areas.

This should not be a problem because the emergency responder is an authorised user with higher priority of access class and will be able to make and receive calls in the disaster area.

Case2: Ambulance attendant reaches a rescue site in the disaster area but cannot find the person who asked for help originally because of unexpected destruction. The attendant should be able to call him/her in order to make sure where he/she is.

Case3: Firefighter is at a scene of fire of high-rise apartment in the disaster area and calls to a person who asked for help in order to give out directives on the evacuation.

These scenarios as such are no problem except when there is congestion on the receiving side. In that case either the emergency attendant or the risk management office should be able to get in touch and establish the call.

In technical terms, the people like emergency attendants and disaster risk management office attendants are called authorised users and the ordinary people who need help are known as unauthorised users.

It should also be possible to make a small duration call between unauthorised users so people can check each others safety. This can be controlled by changing the permission of different access class for small durations so that people can trigger calls for small duration.

The study found that eMLPP (Enhanced Multi-Level Precedence and Pre-emption) that is already available since GSM days can resolve the problem of prioritisation in resource allocation. A new capability will be required to allow UEs with indications from the network to perform location registration and respond to a paging request even though it is under access class barring conditions to complete certain classes of calls or messages (e.g. calls from emergency personnel, …).

This new capability will be available probably when Release 9 is finalised in December this year.

As far as understanding this eMLPP is concerned, the following book has quite a lot of details on this topic. If you can get hold of it then do go through it.

Preferential Emergency Communications: From Telecommunications to the Internet (The Springer International Series in Engineering and Computer Science)

Here is the google books link for that.

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

SMS for Emergency Services

I blogged few months back about SMS for emergency services in USA now the same is being tried in UK.

Ofcom is trialling a new system to let deaf people access 999 services using text messaging.

The system lets users who can’t speak send a text message to emergency services. Their text is received by 999 assistants and read out to fire, police or other emergency service. A reply is also sent back via SMS.

The trial kicked off earlier this month, with Ofcom asking people to register to test the service. As the trial will use actual emergency messages, it needs enough people to register to get a good feel for how the system is working as most won’t actually have cause to use it.

To register, text “register” to 999; anyone not registered will not be able to use the service.
Ofcom noted that users shouldn’t assume their message has been received until they’ve received a reply, and that anyone sending hoax messages will be prosecuted.

If the trial goes well, the texting system could be in place as early as next year, Ofcom said. It’s being supported by the major telecoms companies, as well as emergency services and the Royal National Institute for Deaf People (RNID).

SMS to the emergency website here.

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Europe makes 'eCall' high priority

The European Commission has made a final call to the European governments to speed up the implementation of the 'eCall' technology that uses cellular networks to automatically alert emergency services when a road accident occurs.

Currently, the deployment of eCall is voluntary and is not being used in any EU country. The Commission warns, in a policy document, that if no significant progress is made in rolling out the system by the end of 2009 it could propose regulatory measures to make it mandatory.

The Commission has presented a policy document with a strategy for introducing an affordable in-car emergency call system in all new vehicles across Europe by 2014, starting next year. Triggered automatically, if the passengers cannot do so, eCall is claimed to be able to save up to 2,500 lives per year in the EU when fully deployed and reduce severity of injuries by 10 to 15%.

Implementing eCall needs the full collaboration of the car and telecoms industries, as well as national administrations in all EU countries who must ensure that their emergency services are equipped to handle eCalls.

Although the technology is ready and common EU-wide standards have been agreed by industry, six EU countries ( Denmark, France, Ireland, Latvia, Malta and the UK) are still not ready to commit, due to cost related concerns.

Preparing phone networks and emergency services for the roll out of eCall in cars across Europe has the full support of the European Parliament and 15 EU countries who have signed the eCall Memorandum of Understanding (Austria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Greece, Italy, Lithuania, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, the Netherlands and Sweden) and three other European countries (Iceland, Norway and Switzerland) .

Another six countries (Belgium, Bulgaria, Hungary, Luxembourg, Romania and Poland) support eCall and are willing to sign the agreement in due time.

Before making eCall fully operational across the EU, countries must agree common standards and guidelines for harmonised deployment of the system and perform field tests putting it into practice (pilots have been launched in some EU countries, including Finland, Czech Republic, Germany, Austria, Italy, The Netherlands). Through its Competitiveness and Innovation Programme the Commission may financially support such pilots, as well as public awareness campaigns about how the technology works.

Road accidents cost the EU economy more than EUR160 billion a year. Equipping all cars in the EU with the eCall system could save EUR26 billion annually while the system' is estimated to cost less than EUR100 per car. Introducing this device will not only benefit consumers, but also businesses by enabling the car and telecoms industries to offer new upgraded applications and services (like digital tachographs or electronic tolls) based on eCall to be installed in all vehicles and use satellite positioning technology.

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

SMS: Information, MisInformation, Emergency and Spam

The other day someone pointed out that the number of SMS send per day globally is 2 Trillion. I said, surely this cant be true. The population of the world is somewhere around 7 Billion mark. If we assume that everyone uses the phone and sends 1 message per day than that is still 7 Billion messages, 2 Trillion cant possibly be true.

According to a post earlier, 1 Trillion messages were sent in 2008, compared to 363 Billion in 2007. Thats between 3 and 3.5 Billion per day. We may have to wait probably just couple of years before we see 1 Trillion messages per day (assuming the Networks can cope with this amount of SMS's). The reason for sharp rise in the number would be due to various factors.

The first reason being Spam. China is already facing SMS Spam problems. Its becoming such a nuisance that the operators are considering limiting the number of SMS to a max. of 200 messages per hour and 1000 per day. On holidays, 500 and 2000 respectively. I am not sure if Spammers use phones, rather there are many websites allowing bulk messaging facilities. Many companies are also offering power texting facilities that allows big bundles for minimal pricing. The average price being 1 cent per SMS or even cheaper.

Another reason that we should not forget is the introduction of many QWERTY phones that is making life of texters easier. There is some debate as to whether its having good or bad impact on the teens but I think its the health problems we should be worried about more than anything else. Its just matter of time when you get a new phone, there will be a caution note saying: "Caution: Text messaging can seriously harm your health. It can cause sore thumbs, cause sleeping disorders, anxiety and in some cases depression. Please click on I Accept if you would like to use it at your own risk" :)

Deciphering teen text messages is an art in itself. I blogged about it earlier but things change faster than you can anticipate. LG have launched a DTXTR service that can help you decipher your teen text messages. I tried few codes and it failed miserably. I suppose for these kinds of services, one more thing you need is to know the location of the users. Same code word can mean different thing in different countries/states. Webopedia has a very detailed list of these abbreviations.

Finally, I have always wondered why emergency services dont allow SMS. If I am in a bank being robbed, its safer to send a text rather than call and speak to an operator. Good news is that, its already being tested in the US. This should complement the eCall feature in future.

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Service Specific Access Control (SSAC) in 3GPP Release 9

In an emergency situation, like Earthquake or Tsunami, degradation of quality of service may be experienced. Degradation in service availability and performance can be accepted in such situations, but mechanisms are desirable to minimize such degradation and maximize the efficiency of the remaining resources.

When Domain Specific Access Control (DSAC) mechanism was introduced for UMTS, the original motivation was to enable PS service continuation during congestion in CS Nodes in the case of major disaster like an Earthquake or a Tsunami.

In fact, the use case of DSAC in real UMTS deployment situation has been to apply access control separately on different types of services, such as voice and other packet-switched services.

For example, people’s psychological behaviour is to make a voice call in emergency situations and it is not likely to change. Hence, a mechanism will be needed to separately restrict voice calls and other services.

As EPS is a PS-Domain only system, DSAC access control does not apply.

The SSAC Technical Report (see Reference) identifies specific features useful when the network is subjected to decreased capacity and functionality. Considering the characteristics of voice and non-voice calls in EPS, requirements of the SSAC could be to restrict the voice calls and non-voice calls separately.

For a normal paid service there are QoS requirements. The provider can choose to shut down the service if the requirements cannot be met. In an emergency situation the most important thing is to keep communication channels uninterrupted, therefore the provider should preferably allow for a best effort (degradation of) service in preference to shutting the service down. During an emergency situation there should be a possibility for the service provider also to grant services, give extended credit to subscribers with accounts running empty. Under some circumstances (e.g. the terrorist attack in London on the 7 of July in 2005), overload access control may be invoked giving access only to authorities or a predefined set of users. It is up to national authorities to define and implement such schemes.

Reference: 3GPP TR 22.986 - Study on Service Specific Access Control

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Public Warning System (PWS) in Release-9

Public Warning System (PWS) is generalization of Earthquake and Tsunami Warning System (ETWS). The requirements for PWS has been defined in 3GPP Release 9 in 3GPP TS 22.268. 3GPP TR 22.968 details the Study for requirements for a Public Warning System (PWS) service.

The following list gives the high level general requirements for Warning Notification delivery:

- PWS shall be able to broadcast Warning Notifications to multiple users simultaneously with no acknowledgement required.
- Warning Notifications shall be broadcast to a Notification Area which is based on the geographical information as specified by the Warning Notification Provider.
- PWS capable UEs (PWS-UE) in idle mode shall be capable of receiving broadcasted Warning Notifications.
- PWS shall only be required to broadcast Warning Notifications in languages as prescribed by regulatory requirements.
- Warning Notifications are processed by PWS on a first in, first out basis, subject to regulatory requirements.
- Reception and presentation of Warning Notifications to the user shall not pre-empt an active voice or data session.
- Warning Notifications shall be limited to those emergencies where life or property is at imminent risk, and some responsive action should be taken.

Commercial Mobile Alert System (CMAS) is Public Warning System (PWS) that delivers Warning Notifications provided by Warning Notification Providers to CMAS capable PWS-UEs. CMAS defines three different classes of Warning Notifications (Presidential, Imminent Threat and Child Abduction Emergency). The CMAS functionality does not require modifications to the 3GPP-defined cell broadcast functionality.

Sunday, 24 May 2009

eCall to save lives

Qualcomm is offering its endorsement for the Third Generation Partnership Project’s (3GPP’s) recent approval of the eCall in-band modem specification, which supports the European Union’s eCall road safety initiative.

The 3GPP standardization group has approved the final specs of the eCall in-band modem standard. The specification work was undertaken by 3GPP at the request of the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) and the European Commission, which sought a standardized technical solution to support the deployment of eCall across Europe. With the completion of this work, ETSI has adopted the 3GPP specifications and will publish them as ETSI standards.

The eCall public road safety initiative is designed to provide rapid assistance to motorists involved in a collision anywhere in the European Union by automatically generating an emergency voice call via the cellular network to local emergency agencies, as well as sending information such as position location. ECall, which is scheduled for introduction and operation across Europe in late 2010, is expected to help save lives by improving notification of road accidents and speeding up emergency service response.

The eCall Memorandum of Understanding (eCall MoU) got the backing of Estonia. The country thereby commits itself to the timely implementation of eCall, the pan-European emergency call system. eCall enables a car involved in a serious crash to automatically dial 112 and call the nearest emergency centre. In the call, it notifies the accident and transmits its exact location. Jüri Pihl, Estonian Minister of the Interior, signed the eCall MoU in the presence of Viviane Reding, European Commissioner for the Information Society and Media. Estonia is the 15th EU Member State to sign the MoU.

The pan-European in-vehicle emergency call system, "eCall", is a device in the car that uses 112, the single European emergency number, to automatically call the nearest emergency centre in the event of a serious traffic accident. In the call the exact location of the accident scene is transmitted to the centre, even is there is no voice connection, because, for example, all passengers have lost consciousness. Knowledge of the exact location of the crash reduces response time of the rescue teams by 40 % in built-up areas and 50 % in rural environments. 2.500 lives could be saved in the European Union annually, and 15 % of serious injuries mitigated, if all European cars were equipped with eCall. Other EU Member States that have signed the MoU so far are: Austria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Greece, Italy, Lithuania, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, Spain and The Netherlands. Non-EU States Iceland, Norway and Switzerland belong to the signatories as well.

Watch this Video to understand all about eCall

eCall, Initially designed to fulfil European requirements, the eCall feature will:
  • Enable the automated delivery of 140 bytes of information in astandardised format to a Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP)
  • Complete that delivery with 4 seconds
  • Provide accurate location information
The introduction of this feature will dramatically reduce the time taken for emergency assistance to arrive at the scene of an accident and hence help to save lives

For more information see:
3GPP TR 22.967
3GPP TS 22.105
3GPP TS 24.008
Reference: Adrian Scrase Presentation in LTE World Summit

Friday, 3 April 2009

More on ICE

Continuing from the earlier post on ICE, Martin Sauter has some more information on this topic:

During the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this year, I heard from Adrian Scrase for the first time that 3GPP has specified how to put information on the SIM card for "In Case of Emergency" (ICE) events, i.e. to help first responders to identify someone and to contact their next of kin.

A great idea and now that it is specified it will hopefully become a worldwide accepted feature. It's not in current phones and SIM cards yet so it will take a couple of years for the feature to be added. Let's keep our fingers crossed a critical mass is reached so people actually enter information and first responders actually use the feature.

As somebody asked me over at Forum Oxford at how it will work in practice, I've had a look at the standards:
  • The user enters ICE information like names of persons, relation to these persons and phone numbers. For details see 3GPP TS 22.101, A28
  • During an emergency, the information can be retrieved by pressing '* * *'. That's specified in 3GPP TS 22.030, 6.8
  • The information is stored in a new file on the SIM card referred to as EF(ICE_DN) and the format is described in 3GPP TS 31.102

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

ICE: In case of emergency

In case of emergency (ICE) is a program that enables first responders, such as paramedics, firefighters, and police officers, to identify victims and contact their next of kin to obtain important medical information. The program was conceived in the mid-2000s and promoted by British paramedic Bob Brotchie in May 2005. It encourages people to enter emergency contacts in their cell phone address book under the name "ICE". Alternately, a person can list multiple emergency contacts as "ICE1", "ICE2", etc. The popularity of the program has spread across Europe and Australia, and has started to grow into North America.

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

3GPP Earthquake and Tsunami Warning service (ETWS)

Earthquake and Tsunami Warning Service: is a service that delivers Earthquake and Tsunami Warning Notifications provided by Warning Notification Providers to the UEs which have the capability of receiving Warning Notifications within Notification Areas through the 3GPP network.

Earthquake and Tsunami Warning System: is a subsystem of Public Warning System that delivers Warning Notifications specific to Earthquake and Tsunami provided by Warning Notification Providers to the UEs which have the capability of receiving Warning Notifications within Notification Areas through the 3GPP network.

Earthquake and Tsunami Warning service is provided to users by PLMN operators. Warning Notification Providers produce Warning Notification to PLMN operator when an event occurs e.g. an Earthquake. PLMN operators distribute Warning Notifications to users by utilizing ETWS.

The ETWS consists of the PLMN that is capable to deliver Warning Notification and the UEs that are capable to receive Warning Notification. A Warning Notification Provider is able to send Warning Notification to the users in Notification Area by activating ETWS. Warning Notification is classified into two types depending on the purpose and urgency of the notification.

The first type of Notification is called Primary Notification. This type of notification delivers the most important information of the threat that is approaching to users (e.g. the imminent occurrence of Earthquake or Tsunami). The notification shall be delivered to the users as soon as possible.

The second type of Notification is called Secondary Notification. This type of notification delivers additional information, such as instructions on what to do / where to get help as long as the emergency lasts.

More Information at 3GPP TS 22.168: Earthquake and Tsunami Warning System (ETWS) requirements; Stage 1.

You may also find interesting this FAQ for Cell Broadcast (CB) in Public Warning.

Monday, 19 January 2009

MMS of NY Plane Crash, first photo on the web

A dramatic picture of the US Airways aircraft that crashed in the Hudson River appeared around the world within minutes after a bystander uploaded a photograph taken with his mobile telephone on to the website Twitter.

In another illustration of the growing power of Twitter, where users post mini-messages, Janis Krums took the picture with his iPhone and sent it to the site.

Mr Krums, from Sarasota, Florida, posted: “There’s a plane in the Hudson. I’m on the ferry going to pick up the people. Crazy.”

Read complete article here.