iPhone support for AML

Apple has confirmed that its next software update for the iPhone – iOS 11.3 available this spring – will support Advanced Mobile Location (AML).

Feb 14, 2018

Apple has confirmed that its next software update for the iPhone – iOS 11.3 available this spring – will support Advanced Mobile Location (AML). This technology is used when an emergency call is being placed to send accurate location data of the caller directly to the emergency services. Analysts say the move should encourage more governments to add support for AML to assist in responding to life-threatening emergencies. The technology was developed by HTC and UK mobile carriers and has been promoted by EENA – the European Emergency Number Association. EENA says accurate caller location in case of an emergency “is one of the most significant pieces of information an emergency call-taker can use”. “Caller location can be detrimental for the safety of the public in many ways – the decision on which emergency resource is dispatched, the quickest route to get to the incident, and so on,” it adds. “An AML-enabled smartphone recognises when an emergency call is made and, if not already activated, activates the phone’s global navigation satellite system (GNSS) to collect the caller’s location information. The handset then sends an automatic text to the emergency services with the caller’s location, before turning the GNSS off again. The service can also use wi-fi, depending on which is better at a given moment.” EENA has congratulated Apple on its announcement, which it says will make people safer and save lives. It highlights that in the countries where AML is already operational on smartphones, many lives have been saved thanks to the technology, adding that the upcoming iPhone update is “a major improvement in the daily work of emergency and rescue services”. The AML service is not yet widely supported – so far just in the UK, Belgium, Estonia, Lithuania, New Zealand, Sweden and the state of Lower Austria, with ten other countries in the process of coming on board – but it is hoped that iOS 11.3 should help accelerate deployment.

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