Almost a year ago the CRTC issued a statement that mandated that Canadian wireless service providers had a firm deadline of February 1st, 2010 to upgrade their 911 services. The main reason for the upgrade was because the technology was severely lacking to pinpoint urgent calls and caused a number of deaths. Plus as cellphones have become more popular the total number of 911 calls from a mobile now is at 50%.
Even Bernard Lord, President of the CWTA (Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association) stated back in April that “it’s going to be a significant challenge to deploy this county-wide for next February”. In a follow up interview yesterday, Lord said there will be some carriers that will not be ready due to additional testing, plus parts Quebec have not been covered yet.
Lord said that “It’s question of time. The work is being done. It’s an evolving situation… I think it’s important to realize there have been significant improvements but the technology is not in place and does not exist to pinpoint every individual in every case… This is not like in the movies. It can be as accurate as within three metres, but in other cases it could be hundreds of metres”.
If you’re in a situation that you need to dial 911 you’ll still have to let the operator know your location, plus in order for them to find you faster they’ll use cell towers plus your GPS in your mobile, but you’ll have to have a GPS-enabled device.