GTE Wireless today announced the selection of XYPOINT Corporation to provide wireless Enhanced 911 (E-911) services recently mandated by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The announcement makes GTE Wireless one of the first major carriers in the nation to announce details and plans for this new federally-required service.
XYPOINT's service will display on 911 operators' screens a wireless customer's 10-digit telephone number and the coverage area of the cell site from which an emergency call is made. Enhanced 911 service will allow 911 centers--known as Public Safety Answering Points -- to dispatch the nearest police, fire and medical help more effectively to GTE Wireless customers. Currently, a large majority of all homes and businesses nationwide receive this "enhanced" service from land-based phones, but the service is just now beginning for wireless phones.
GTE will deploy Enhanced 911 service beginning early this year in California. Implementation in other states where public safety officials have met key pre-conditions set by the FCC will follow.
On December 1, 1997, the FCC issued its final order requiring wireless carriers to provide the public safety community with new E-911 services. The first phase of the FCC mandate requires wireless carriers to send the phone number of the customer and the location of the serving cellular tower to the dispatchers, so they can more readily identify the location of the emergency caller.
"Our goal is to give our public safety professionals world-class wireless E-911 service since they are on the front lines helping our customers in emergencies," said GTE Wireless President Mark Feighner. "We selected XYPOINT because our customers have a right to expect the very best 911 performance whenever they use our wireless service."
"XYPOINT is focused on providing wireless E-911 service to the public safety community that is affordable, uncomplicated, easily deployed and 100 percent compatible with their existing equipment," said Kenneth A. Arneson, president and CEO. "We don't take that challenge lightly, and we are proud to be partners with GTE Wireless in this endeavor."
William H. Hinkle, vice president of the National Emergency Number Association (NENA), a trade group representing thousands of local 911 centers, said, "GTE Wireless has made an impressive effort to work with the public safety community to bring this exciting new service to fruition, and we believe that everyone wins when we are able to more quickly dispatch assistance to people in need."
XYPOINT, a privately held company based in Seattle, Wash., is a leading designer and developer of wireless intelligent network services, providing location-related information to the wireless industry. The XYPOINT name, pronounced "zy-point," refers to locating a point using the X and Y coordinates on a map.
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