The Europe’s nExt generation eMergencY commuNicatiOnS (EMYNOS) project final demonstration took place 31 January in Bucharest, Romania, with the support of Romanian Special Telecommunications Service (STS). After two years of progress, the next-generation emergency communications services was successfully integrated with the legacy emergency system managed by STS.
Next-generation emergency communications components such as rich media, support for persons with disabilities and improved caller location were tested via a variety of uses cases and scenarios including:
• Pure next-generation 1-1-2 (NG 1-1-2) calls with caller location, audio, video, real-time text and sensor data
• Emergency calls from assistive technologies and haptic devices
• Emergency calls over satellite
• NG 1-1-2 calls toward emergency legacy systems
The demonstration involved more than 35 external participants from public authorities, actors of emergency communications services and representatives of the National Deaf Association from Romania.
The results generated as part of EMYNOS are expected to become a starting point for further activities in the context of research, development, integration and testing of next-generation emergency services. In addition, the outcomes of the project should become an incentive to regulators and users to respectively enforce the necessary policies and speed up deployment of such services.
Church spires could be used to boost mobile and broadband signal in rural areas, the Culture Secretary has announced.
Church spires could be used to boost mobile and broadband coverage in rural areas under an agreement between the UK government and the Church of England. The government has committed to achieving good-quality mobile connectivity across the UK by 2022. While the agreement encourages churches to sign up, they will still have to negotiate the usual planning process. Digital analysts welcomed the development but said "the devil would be in the detail". "Getting access to suitable sites, particularly in rural areas, has been a real challenge for mobile operators, so any initiative aimed at improving this will be welcomed by the industry," said Matthew Howett, principal analyst at research firm Assembly.
Guidance set out by the Church and Historic England will ensure that any telecoms infrastructure does not impact on the character and architectural or historic significance of churches, the department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport said.
Around two-thirds of Anglican churches and parishes in England are in rural areas, often in the heart of their communities, and so are well-placed to tackle problems of poor connectivity. They will be used alongside other church properties and farm buildings to host telecoms infrastructure. Matt Hancock said: "Churches are central features and valued assets for local communities up and down the country. "This agreement with the Church of England will mean that even a 15th century building can help make Britain fit for the future, improving people's lives by boosting connectivity in some of our hardest-to-reach areas.
Local agreements "What's not clear, though, is what the commercial relationship looks like. There have been many stories of rural landowners effectively holding operators to ransom for access to some sites, which has slowed down rollout and added considerably to the cost." The government said commercial arrangements would be made locally between dioceses or parishes and mobile operators and broadband providers but gave no further details. Two-thirds of Anglican churches are in rural areas and their location at the heart of their communities means they are well-placed to help deliver improved mobile connectivity, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport said. Secretary of State Matt Hancock said: "Churches are central features and valued assets for local communities up and down the country. "This agreement with the Church of England will mean that even a 15th Century building can help make Britain fit for the future, improving people's lives by boosting connectivity in some of our hardest-to-reach areas."
'Deplorable' coverage There are already about 120 examples of broadband and mobile services being delivered from parish churches across the country, according to the Church of England.
These take a variety of forms - from wireless transmitters in spires to aerials, satellite dishes and cables. The equipment is used to boost both voice and data coverage.
The Dioceses of Norwich and Chelmsford have been signed up to programmes for at least five years.
The Bishop of Chelmsford, the Right Reverend Stephen Cottrell, said: "Encouraging churches to improve connectivity will help tackle two of the biggest issues rural areas face - isolation and sustainability. "Our work has significantly improved rural access to high-speed broadband. We know that rural churches in particular have always served as a hub for their communities."
The Bishop of Norwich, the Right Reverend Graham James, said using parish churches "creatively" would enhance their value to communities.
According to Ofcom's figures, published in December, 4G coverage - where a signal is available from all four mobile operators - is currently available across 43% of the UK. For calls and text messaging, 70% of the UK can receive a signal from all four operators. At the time, Lord Adonis, the chairman of the National Infrastructure Commission, urged Ofcom to improve mobile service, which he described as "deplorable".
Hamish Macleod, director of Mobile UK, said: "Mobile UK welcomes this announcement from Government and the Church of England, which emphasises the benefits of mobile connectivity to local communities. "Where there is a need, a suitable building is available and appropriate terms can be agreed, the mobile operators will continue to extend their use of churches to increase mobile coverage and capacity, while respecting the church environment."
Credit: BBC, Standard.
Rohde & Schwarz (R&S) has announced that its eCall wireless communications test platform is the first to be certified by an independent test body.
From 1 April onward, car makers are required to equip new vehicles for sale in the EU with an eCall module. In the event of a serious accident, this automatically sends data to the universal European emergency phone number, 112, to facilitate faster response from medical, police and fire crews.
CETECOM has been officially designated as a technical service for eCall by the German Federal Motor Transport Authority. The independent consulting and testing firm has examined the implementation of the eCall test public safety answering point (PSAP) in R&S’ CMW-KA094 solution and certified it as compliant with the CEN EN 16454:2015 standard.
R&S says its compact system can be used for reproducible end-to-end functional tests and standard-compliant conformance tests of eCall and ERA-Glonass modules (the latter describes the accident emergency response system that uses Russia’s version of GPS, the Global Navigation Satellite System) Car makers and suppliers use these tests to check whether the installed modem properly initiates an emergency call in the event of a motor vehicle accident, correctly acquires the relevant data and sends it via the mobile network, and is able to establish a voice connection to the PSAP.
R&S adds that it is also developing test features for eCall over LTE, and making the corresponding solution fit for testing new vehicle telematics units.
Credit: Rohde & Schwarz
A news feed for all things related to RAYNET-UK and Emergency Communications