Fixing Mobile Emergency Call Geo-Location Once and For All

Ghassan Al-Nuaimi, Matthew Lloyd, Hlekiwe Kachali, Saeed Ur Rehman, Paul Gardner-Stephen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review


Accurate geolocation fix for an emergency call can make the difference between life and death, by reducing the time required to bring assistance to the caller. The problem is that only selected phones and selected networks support the efficient and effective conveying of location information during an emergency call. In this paper we describe a simple and achievable intervention to enable smartphones to convey accurate and time-stamped location information to emergency call operators. This consists of providing a button on the emergency call screen that causes the phone to provide its location to the call operator. This works by using text-to-speech to read out a GPS-obtained location for the phone over the open telephone call. In this way, the location can be provided to the emergency call operator, even if the call centre is not equipped with Advanced Mobile Location (AML) or an equivalent technology. A DTMF-based mechanism is also proposed to allow an emergency call centre operator to request a caller's location, supplemented by a dead-man's pedal mechanism, so that location can be obtained even when a caller becomes unresponsive. Further, the intervention requires only modest changes to smart-phone operating software, and is thus highly feasible to implement.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2021 IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference (GHTC)
Publication date10.2021
ISBN (Print)978-1-6654-3372-3
Publication statusPublished - 10.2021
MoE publication typeA4 Article in conference proceedings
EventIEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference (GHTC) 2021: Technology for the Benefit of Humanity - Online
Duration: 19.10.202123.10.2021


  • 512 Business and Management
  • 113 Computer and information sciences
  • geology
  • conferences
  • telephone sets
  • software
  • smart phones

Areas of Strength and Areas of High Potential (AoS and AoHP)

  • AoHP: Humanitarian and societal logistics


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