beroNet collaborate with Telekom at their Business Customer Test Centre, where testing Emergency Services call centre solutions proves successful
Converting Emergency Services call centres to IP is without doubt a significant challenge. Rigorous testing needs to be undertaken to ensure that everything works as it should. In order to carry out this extensive testing, beroNet has been working in collaboration with Deutsche Telekom at their Business Customer Test Centre in Bonn.
Emergency Services call centres were originally set up to enable members of the public to quickly reach professional help in emergency situations. This is helped by Emergency Services call centres having memorable numbers: in Germany they are 110 and 112 for the police and the fire brigade/medical emergencies respectively. Incoming emergency calls are then automatically routed to the respective regional control centre.
A unique feature of the setup is that staff working within an ISDN network such as this can see the caller ID, even in cases where the caller withholds his/her number. The advantage of this is that staff can help in every case, even if a caller is unable to provide their contact details.
As part of the conversion to digital, more and more information is being added, including the caller’s location. It is precisely this location information that is becoming increasingly important for Emergency Services call centre teams, where the call centres and operating sites are often scattered across the country. Moreover, with a modern telephony all-IP solution, the caller’s location cannot necessarily be determined using the phone number. Here, clear guidelines are required in order for the Emergency Services to balance their responsibility towards those seeking help, as well as their responsibilities towards their staff.
In an emergency, the following four questions must be answered:
- Where has the emergency taken place?
- What happened?
- How many injured or affected people require attention?
- What injuries or symptoms do those affected have?
- Wait for questions from the emergency services, don’t hang up!
Telekom adds a degree of pressure by pointing out that the central Emergency Services control centre should be switched to SIP. Otherwise, when using an ISDN gateway, additional information (such as the caller ID) will not be shared.
This is currently the challenge being faced by the Berlin company, beroNet.
Telekom's new company flex connection is put to the test
The beroNet team spent two days earlier this month at the Telekom Business Customer Test Centre, where they tested the technical migration of Emergency Services call centre connections to VoIP technology. The Emergency Services call centre call localization already mentioned in this article was the focus of the tests. beroNet examined devices with new firmware which adheres to the future technical guidelines of the Bundesnetzagentur (Germany Federal Network Agency).
The testing focused on the information displayed by the caller (during an emergency call), e.g. displaying GPS coordinates / location data and CLIP to Emergency Services call centre teams, even in cases where the caller has withheld his/her number. Telekom has already implemented this feature across company flex connections, as well as across all-IP connections.
Testing reveals that beroNet’s devices are a resounding success
beroNet’s Managing Director, Christian Richter was very satisfied with the test results:
“Last week we successfully tested our beroNet gateway with S0 and S2M technology. We successfully tested emergency calls from various connections, including the so-called “eCall”. The results were positive across the board, even in rare cases such as forwarding central Emergency Services control centre calls”.
Christian is now confident about moving forward, adding:
“Using our media gateways, ISDN control centres can run successfully on an IP emergency call connection, whilst supporting location-sharing information”.