Verizon First To Commit To 911 Texting

Verizon Wireless, the nation’s largest carrier, has announced that they are going to roll out the ability to text 911 in early 2013. The FCC suggested this of all carriers back in 2010 and Verizon Wireless is the first to announce that they will support it.

There are so many different instances where the ability to text 911 over actually initiating a voice call would come in handy. Perhaps you end up in an unsafe situation and you can’t make a sound, you can text. This will also be great for those people who are hard of hearing. It could also come in handy for foreigners who have a firm grasp of the english language in print and text but not in speaking, this happens a lot when learning a new language.

There’s also another safety factor involved in texting, when you’re in an emergency situation and hysterical you can actually communicate better with text messages.

More after the break

According to Verizon Wireless the text messages will be routed through existing towers.


¬† ¬†“Verizon is at the forefront of 911 public-safety innovations, and today’s announcement is another step in making SMS-to-911 service available to those who cannot make a voice call to 911,” said Marjorie Hsu, Verizon Wireless vice president of technology. “Our company is continuing its long-standing commitment to address the needs of public safety and our customers by offering another way to get help in an emergency by using wireless technology.”

To get this technology off the ground Verizon is partnering with Telecommunications Systems Inc of Annapolis Maryland. The service will be available in select cities, presumably the ones that have the infrastructure to support it at the emergency response center, in early 2013.

“TeleCommunication Systems has worked closely with the FCC over the past two years to develop its innovative technology for SMS to 911,” said Maurice B. Tose, president and CEO of TCS. “As the preeminent U.S. supplier of SMS and pioneer in wireless E911, TCS is well positioned to enable Verizon in advancing its public safety commitment.”

We recently learned, while attending the FOSE and Security show in Washington DC that the plan in a few years is to be able to text the 911 center and then for the center to be able to relay the same text messages to emergency personell in route and on the scene.

source: Verizon Wireless