AT&T and State of Tennessee to Launch Text to 9-1-1 Trial

Standards-Based Solution Will Enable AT&T Subscribers to Send Emergency Texts to 9-1-1 Statewide

Sep 05, 2012, 09:00 ET from AT&T Inc.

DALLAS, Sept. 5, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- More and more, public safety agencies are embracing new technologies and IP-based networks to communicate with constituents in emergency situations. Over the past few years, the state of Tennessee has invested in an advanced, statewide 9-1-1 IP infrastructure, giving Tennesseans access to the best technology available to coordinate emergency responses. Today, AT&T* announced the state of Tennessee has approved the use of the state's new Emergency Service IP Network (ESInet) to support a Text to 9-1-1 trial statewide.

Under this trial, AT&T will work with the Tennessee Emergency Communications Board (TECB) to provide a Text to 9-1-1 trial service, allowing for emergency 9-1-1 Short Message Service (SMS) text messages from AT&T wireless subscribers to be received by Tennessee 9-1-1 call centers, known as public service answering points (PSAPs). The trial will use the existing ESInet and statewide IP network backbone (NetTN), key components in the state of Tennessee's Next-Generation 9-1-1 plan.

"In today's mobile environment, it's vital that Tennessee's public safety infrastructure keep pace," said Lynn Questell, Executive Director, TECB. "This trial with AT&T will build upon efforts to modernize and enhance our emergency communication network, leveraging new technologies to serve our citizens and work to ensure their safety."

While dialing 9-1-1 by phone remains the primary and preferred method to contact public safety agencies, the Text to 9-1-1 trial will enable PSAPs in Tennessee to begin receiving 9-1-1 SMS texts from AT&T wireless subscribers through the state's ESInet. The trial will allow PSAPs to develop best practices and methods to receive and integrate these types of emergency communications in the future.

The trial will utilize concepts and designs from key industry groups working on Text to 9-1-1 standards and will leverage the National Emergency Number Association's (NENA) i3 standards and recommendations.

"AT&T is committed to working with standard bodies, national, state, and local public safety organizations to determine how best to integrate SMS text messages and other advanced communications into future 9-1-1 systems and wireless networks," said Mel Coker, Vice President, Public Safety Solutions, AT&T Business Solutions. "This trial will be vital in evaluating Text to 9-1-1 solutions with the goal of providing reliable, universal access for our customers."

*AT&T products and services are provided or offered by subsidiaries and affiliates of AT&T Inc. under the AT&T brand and not by AT&T Inc.

About AT&T

AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) is a premier communications holding company and one of the most honored companies in the world. Its subsidiaries and affiliates – AT&T operating companies – are the providers of AT&T services in the United States and around the world. With a powerful array of network resources that includes the nation's largest 4G network, AT&T is a leading provider of wireless, Wi-Fi, high speed Internet, voice and cloud-based services. A leader in mobile broadband and emerging 4G capabilities, AT&T also offers the best wireless coverage worldwide of any U.S. carrier, offering the most wireless phones that work in the most countries.  It also offers advanced TV services under the AT&T U-verse® and AT&T │DIRECTV brands. The company's suite of IP-based business communications services is one of the most advanced in the world.

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