TeleCommunication Systems and University of Maryland Collaborate on Beta Test of SMS 9-1-1 Technology
University First in Nation to Enable and Examine Viability of Sending Emergency Messages via “Text to Police;” Technology Could Benefit Hearing-Impaired, Situations Where Someone Is Unable to Safely Place Voice 9-1-1 Calls
ANNAPOLIS, MD, Dec 14, 2011 –TeleCommunication Systems, Inc. (TCS) (NASDAQ: TSYS), a world leader in highly reliable and secure mobile communication technology, and the University of Maryland today announced the company has launched a beta test of SMS 9-1-1 technology on the College Park campus. The test, which will last approximately three months, will examine the viability of sending emergency messages to the campus Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) call center via an SMS text message sent through a mobile device.
The University of Maryland is the first college emergency communications center in the United States to test “text-to-police” using any mobile device capable of text messaging to a live call taker at the PSAP. The TCS SMS 9-1-1 technology is designed to allow persons who are hearing impaired and those who are unable to place a voice emergency call with the ability to communicate their situation rapidly and accurately to a PSAP via a text message. This, in turn, would allow the PSAP to send the appropriate responders to the correct location faster, because the solution automatically determines the caller’s location as opposed to other techniques that require the sender to enter the location.
The test will be conducted utilizing University of Maryland Department of Public Safety personnel, who will send various test emergency text messages that will be received by university police operators. The operator will receive both the caller’s location and text utilizing the TCS SMS 9-1-1 PSAP graphical user interface (GUI). Then, campus emergency responders will receive a test notification.
“The University of Maryland is an institution that is committed to the safety and well-being of its students, faculty, staff and guests, so it’s a natural fit for the University of Maryland to test this major advancement in emergency communications on its own campus,” said Jay Whitehurst, senior vice president of commercial software group for TCS. “This technology will allow campus emergencies to be communicated to university authorities in one of the most common methods now being used by students to communicate to each other: texting.”
TCS is a leader in SMS text, as well as E9-1-1 connectivity technology; the company handles approximately one-third of all text messages in the U.S., and it successfully routed the first-ever wireless E9-1-1 call over a decade ago. Since then, TCS has deployed wireless and VoIP E9-1-1 service to operators nationwide. Today, TCS delivers about half of all U.S. wireless E9-1-1 calls — more than 140,000 emergency calls daily.
“The University of Maryland takes the safety of our community very seriously, and being able to test the latest in emergency communications technology offered by TCS is something we definitely wanted to be a part of,” said David Mitchell, director/chief of police of the University of Maryland Department of Public Safety. “Hopefully, this test will lead to campuses across the country being able to take advantage of this technology to make their communities safer and stronger.”
The University of Maryland Police is participating in this trial to provide valuable experience necessary to develop SMS 9-1-1 PSAP call taker requirements with TCS. This trial will also help optimize the service to meet end user needs.
About TeleCommunication Systems, Inc.
TeleCommunication Systems, Inc. (TCS) (NASDAQ: TSYS) is a world leader in highly reliable and secure mobile communication technology. TCS infrastructure forms the foundation for market leading solutions in E9-1-1, text messaging, commercial location and deployable wireless communications. TCS is at the forefront of new mobile cloud computing services providing wireless applications for navigation, hyper-local search, asset tracking, social applications and telematics. Millions of consumers around the world use TCS wireless apps as a fundamental part of their daily lives. Government agencies utilize TCS’ cyber security expertise, professional services, and highly secure deployable satellite solutions for mission-critical communications. Headquartered in Annapolis, MD, TCS maintains technical, service and sales offices around the world. To learn more about emerging and innovative wireless technologies, visit www.telecomsys.com.
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