Wed, 16 Dec 2020 - 11:27
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More accurate location data for Triple Zero

Operators at Triple Zero will have more accurate information on an emergency caller’s precise location under new mobile technology unveiled today by the Morrison Government.

Advanced Mobile Location (AML) technology is now available for Australians calling Triple Zero on mobile phones. 

AML is a technology that allows mobile phones to send more precise location coordinates when a call to Triple Zero is made. Triple Zero receives up to 27,000 calls nationally each day and around 78 per cent of these calls originate from a mobile phone.

AML technology will assist emergency services to locate those needing help faster. It is more accurate than the current method of locating callers via adjacent telecommunications infrastructure, which also cannot assist in many regional and remote areas. It will be of particular benefit when an emergency caller is unable to state their location because of injury or other reasons.

The AML capability has been automatically activated on Android mobile devices running Android operating system 4.1 and higher with Google Play Services installed. Apple iPhone users will need to update their operating system to use iOS 14.3 to enable the AML capability within their device. iOS 14.3 is available on the iPhone 6s device and above.

“AML uses the same location technology that smartphones users take advantage of everyday when looking up directions, ordering food through a delivery service or using a ride share service,” said Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts, the Hon Paul Fletcher MP.

“I encourage iPhone users to update their device to the iOS14.3 operating system to activate the AML capability when calling Triple Zero.”

Telstra is responsible for the operation of Triple Zero and has been working with Apple and Google to test AML for iPhone and Android devices, as well as with the mobile carriers and emergency service organisations, including NSW Police and NSW Fire and Rescue. The Minister thanked all organisations involved in delivering AML.

Callers to Triple Zero should still be prepared to provide the Triple Zero operator with their location, with the AML technology designed to complement existing processes and procedures. For more information, go to www.triplezero.gov.au

Background

How AML works:

  • An AML-enabled smartphone recognises when an emergency call is made to Triple Zero (000 & 112), and if not already activated, activates the phone’s location services functions.
  • The smartphone assesses the location information available, using device-based hybrid methods, which combine GPS, Wi-Fi, mobile network information, and other sensor inputs to calculate the caller’s location.
  • Once the device’s location is calculated, the smartphone automatically sends an SMS with the estimated location to the Triple Zero ECS. This SMS is sent in the background while the caller speaks with ESOs, and the caller is not required to do anything to enable the location information to be sent.
    • If the phone’s location services were switched off at the time the call was initiated, AML will temporarily activate the location service for the duration of the emergency call.
    • It typically takes 25 seconds or less for the caller’s location to be calculated and sent via an SMS to the Triple Zero ECS.
  • When the emergency call has finished, AML will be de-activated. The phone will not retain a record of the SMS sent, and a caller is not able to retrieve it.

Which devices are compatible with AML?

  • AML will work with Android phones (version 4.1 and higher, with Google Play Services installed) and with Apple iPhone devices updated to use iOS 14.3. iOS 14.3 is available on the iPhone 6s and above. 
  • Android version 4.1 was released in July 2012, and 99% of Android devices run version 4.1 and above. The latest version of Android is 11.0.
  • The iPhone 6s was released in September 2015. The AML capability is available on the following Apple iOS devices: iPhone 12 Mini, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro, iPhone 12 Pro Max, iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, iPhone 11 Pro Max, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone XR, iPhone X, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone SE (1st generation), iPhone SE (2nd generation), iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus.
  • AML will work on Apple Watch GPS + Cellular devices updated to WatchOS 7.2.