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ATIS Launches Non-Voice Emergency Communications Initiative

by david.nunes

ATIS Launches Non-Voice Emergency Communications Initiative
Inaugural Meeting to be Held April 13: Join ATIS in this Work Critical to Ensuring Deaf Consumers Have Access to Emergency Services

March 10, 2011, Washington, DCATIS is pleased to announce the formation of the Non-Voice Emergency Communications Incubator, a new initiative with the mission of identifying a more robust text-based replacement for the text telephone devices (TTY) used by individuals who are deaf. The goal is to enable these users to move beyond the use of TTY devices with mobile phones and provide a rich set of emergency communications capabilities in the NG9-1-1 environment through wireless communications technologies.

“This new Incubator is another example of ATIS’ commitment to addressing accessibility issues important to our industry and consumers.” said Susan Miller, President and CEO, ATIS. “The Incubator’s work builds on our recently completed work on hearing aid compatibility and provides the technical know-how to ensure that all individuals have access to lifesaving emergency services.”

As wireless communications evolve to digital and IP networks, TTY may no longer offer meaningful access to emergency services. Every cell phone manufactured today is required to support the ability to connect an external TTY device. This requires additional hardware, memory and special testing. Yet, very few deaf individuals use a TTY. A number of technical solutions have been identified as a potential long-term replacement to the current TTY requirement however these will take years to bring to market. There is an important need to identify a near-term solution for individuals who rely on text-based communications for networks (deployed today) and that is also consistent with the long-term solution. The Incubator will work on this near-term solution, and ensure it is integrated with the long-term strategies.

Companies launching this initiative include AT&T, Nokia, T-Mobile, RIM, Samsung, ZTE, Verizon Wireless, and Sprint.

The Non-Voice Emergency Communications Incubator holds its inaugural meeting on April 13 at the ATIS office in Washington, DC. Interested parties in both this important start-up meeting and/or the work of the NVECI should contact Tim Jeffries at tjeffries@atis.org.

About ATIS
ATIS is the leading technical planning and standards development organization committed to the rapid development of global, market-driven standards for the information, entertainment and communications industry. More than 200 companies actively formulate standards in ATIS’ 17 Committees, covering issues including: IPTV, Cloud Services, Energy Efficiency, IP-Based and Wireless Technologies, Quality of Service, Billing and Operational Support, Emergency Services, Architectural Platforms and Emerging Networks. In addition, numerous Incubators, Focus and Exploratory Groups address evolving industry priorities including Smart Grid, Machine-to-Machine, Networked Car, IP Downloadable Security, Policy Management and Network Optimization.

ATIS is the North American Organizational Partner for the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP), a member and major U.S. contributor to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Radio and Telecommunications’ Sectors, and a member of the Inter-American Telecommunication Commission (CITEL). For more information, please visit www.atis.org.

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