ACMA Media Release
Page 1 of 2
28 October 2010
ACMA proposes new rules to require enhanced
location information for Triple Zero mobile calls
The Australian Communications and Media Authority is seeking comment on
proposed amendments to the Emergency Call Service Determination to improve the
provision to emergency service organisations of location information from calls
made to Triple Zero from mobiles.
Locating callers quickly in times of need is obviously a crucial element of the Triple
Zero emergency call service, said ACMA Chairman, Chris Chapman. In proposing
amendments to the Determination, the ACMA wants emergency service
organisations to have access to the most precise location information that the
mobile networks have available and to benefit from developments in the location-
based services offered by the mobile carriers.
The new rules would apply in all situations where a Triple Zero caller is unable to
report their location from a mobile phone24/7.
Mobile phones now account for around 63 per cent of calls made to Triple Zero.
Unlike landline phones, and contrary to urban myth, emergency calls from mobile
phones do not automatically give emergency operators accurate details about a
This is not an issue for the vast majority of mobile calls made to Triple Zero
because, in most cases, the caller can tell the emergency operator where they are
located. But there are timesestimated to be less than one per cent of the calls
where people are too distressed or unfamiliar with their environment to report their
location. It is in such instances where access to enhanced location information will
clearly assist emergency service organisations locate callers.
Key changes proposed include new requirements on mobile carriers to:
provide the most precise location information they have available on request
from an emergency service organisation and, as a minimum, the reception
or coverage areas of the radio cell from which the emergency call originates
resolve emergency call location queries with the highest possible priority
and without delay
ensure emergency service organisations are provided with a designated
contact point and telephone number for location queries, or have a specified
process for location queries
assist an emergency service organisation to identify the relevant mobile
network carrying the emergency call.
ACMA Media Release
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The ACMA views this work as an important step in continuing to improve the
delivery of mobile location information to enhance the emergency call service, and
is calling for public comment before finalising the proposed amendments. The
closing date for submissions is Friday 3 December, 2010.
It follows the ACMAs consideration of submissions to its May 2010 consultation
paper on improving the provision to emergency service organisations of location
information from mobile calls made to Triple Zero.
The ACMA is also continuing to explore with industry and emergency services
organisations the potential provision of enhanced mobile location with every
The draft Amending Determination and consultation paper are available from the
The ACMA regulates and monitors the provision of the Emergency Call Services
under Part 8 of the Telecommunications (Consumer Protection and Service
Standards) Act 1999. Further information about its role with Emergency Call
Services can be found here.
For more information or to arrange an interview please contact: Donald
Robertson, Media Manager, on (02) 9334 7980, 0418 86 1766 or
The ACMA is Australias regulator for broadcasting, the internet, radiocommunications and
telecommunications. The ACMAs strategic intent is to make communications and media work in
Australias public interest. For more information: www.acma.gov.au.
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