WELLINGTON, November 21 (Xinhua) – An emergency call made by all mobile phones in New Zealand will soon confirm their locations, allowing faster response in an emergency, a government official said Wednesday.
The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media Chris Fafai said that improvements to the Emergency Caller Information Service (ECLI) will improve this potentially life-saving technology.
"The ability to quickly verify the locations of callers means that emergency services can be sent faster and reach those who need help earlier, which can make a huge difference in the outcome of an emergency," Fafai said.
The ECLI service was introduced to New Zealand in May 2017, offering high accuracy location information for smartphones running Google's Android system, which is about 70 percent of the New Zealand market,
d location information of lower accuracy for most other mobile devices.
The location's high precision solution was extended to Apple's iOS mobile phones in April 2018, he said.
"We will extend the ECLI service to all other mobile phone calls up to 111 and we will increase the number of high-precision calls," Fafai said, adding that this includes calls made from basic phones with the option of no internet and international visitors use their phone roaming on a network from New Zealand.
These changes are taking place now, and by mid-2020, the location up to 50 meters will be confirmed for 95 percent of all 111 calls from smartphones. The location with lower precision is also increased and will be available for the remaining five percent of smartphones and other mobile phones, in most cases between 50 and 2000 meters, according to the minister.
In its first year, ECLI was used to help verify the locations of nearly 400,000 emergency calls. When these improvements are completed, that number is expected to jump to 780,000, he added.