999 Location Identification Solution for PBX Networks

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ConneXon has launched a location identification solution for 999 calls that are made from within private telephone networks. The solution is known as E999 and is based on ConneXon’s E911 solutions in North America.

E999 solves the problem of providing accurate and reliable location information for 999 calls that originate from sites within a private telephone network that are at different locations from the site where the call breaks-out of the network.

For example, a private telephone network with a PBX server in London might have branch sites in Birmingham, Manchester and Glasgow. All external calls, including 999 calls, would break-out of the network at the PBX server location in London.

Without ConneXon E999 the BT operator would be presented with location information for the London site for 999 calls that originate in Birmingham, Manchester or Glasgow.

This is clearly a Health & Safety risk, particularly if the caller is unable to provide verbal confirmation of their location. This may be because the emergency situation prevents the caller from speaking, or there may be language or dialect difficulties, or the caller may be disoriented and confused about their location.

It is also an issue that has to be addressed under the Ofcom Code of Practice for the design of private telephone networks.

ConneXon E999 solves this problem by ensuring that the BT 999 operator is presented with the correct location information. This enables an organisation to minimise Health & Saftey risks and meet the requirements of telecommunications legislation.

ConneXon E999 comprises an Emergency Routing Service and an optional Emergency Gateway appliance.

The Emergency Routing Service is compatible with all types of PBX and would cost approximately £5,000 to set up, with running costs of £50 per month. This would provide an E999 service for an organisation with up to 15 branch sites. Additional sites can be added for a low incremental cost.

The E999 Emergency Gateway is an optional on-site appliance that provides additional granularity of location information (e.g. room, floor and building information in addition to site address). It also aids the on-site emergency response by providing real-time emergency alerts to internal safety desks together with email and SMS alerts.

Commenting on the launch of E999, ConneXon’s UK Director of Operations, Stephen Killen, said: “The issue of location identification has always been a problem for 999 calls from within PBX networks. The problem has become significantly greater with the increasing deployment of IP-PBX based networks. The benefits of centralised break-out, extension mobility and low-cost expansion to branch sites that are associated with IP-PBX networks cause problems for 999 location identification. ConneXon E999 enables organisation to take advantage of these benefits without worrying about the issue of 999 calling.”

Connexon has worked closely with BT to develop the E999 Emergency Routing Service and ensure that it meets the high standards required for delivering calls to the BT 999 call handling service. Stephen Killen adds: “We would also welcome the opportunity to work with IP-PBX vendors, resellers and distributors so that they can include an enhanced 999 capability in their customer proposition.”