May 26, 2006
Verizon Wireless passes mark for 911 call location
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Verizon Wireless, the No. 2 U.S.
carrier, said on Friday more than 95 percent of its customers
had phones capable of identifying their location when they call
911 for help.
U.S. Federal Communications Commission regulations required
that by the end of last year at least 95 percent of all
wireless handsets be able to give emergency personnel the
location of a 911 caller.
Verizon, Sprint Nextel Corp. , Alltel Corp. and U.S.
Cellular were some of the major providers that sought waivers,
but the FCC has yet to act on the requests.
Verizon said about one-third of 911 call centers, known as
public safety answering points, have upgraded their systems to
be able to receive the location information from callers using
Verizon Wireless is a joint venture between Verizon
Communications and Vodafone Group Plc.
Sprint Nextel told the FCC recently that more than 84
percent of its customers had wireless phones capable of
identifying their location. Alltel said it has reached 86.1
percent and expected it could take until June 2007 to comply
with the 95 percent requirement.
Cingular Wireless, the largest U.S. wireless carrier, and
Deutsche Telekom AG's T-Mobile, are using a network-based
solution to locate callers that dial 911 for help. Therefore,
they were not subject to the 2005 deadline.