All emergency services organisations across Australia can now pinpoint the location of smartphone callers thanks to the arrival of advanced mobile location (AML) technology.
Communications minister Paul Fletcher announced the completion of the rollout on Wednesday, eight months after the AML technology first became available in Australia.
AML is an emergency call-based location service native to smartphones running Android 4.1 or higher and iOS 14.3 or higher that automatically sends operators an SMS with the caller’s best available coordinates.
It is capable of providing a caller’s location “within a five-metre radius outdoors and a 25-metre radius indoors”, according to the Triple Zero website.
Telstra previously triangulated the location of callers using its Push MoLI solution and cell towers, including in regional areas.
Triple Zero operator Telstra has been working with Apple and Google, as well as other mobile carriers and emergency services organisations in each state and territory, to test AML since December last year.
While AML became available in December, it was only recently adopted by all emergency services organisations (ESO’s), including fire, police and ambulance.
“All 24 ESOs in Australia have deployed AML, as of last week,” a spokesperson for the minister’s office told iTnews.
“Covid-19 has affected the ability of Telstra (which operates Triple Zero), carriers and ESOs to access test facilities and schedule necessary system upgrades to facilitate AML.”
Fletcher is now urging Australians to upgrade to the latest version of Android and iOS to activate the life saving technology.
“Time is critical when you are in a life or death situation – that is why AML technology is so important. It allows Triple Zero to send you help as quickly as possible,” he said on Wednesday.
AML has already helped emergency services to locate two lost kayakers in South Australia.
Triple Zero receives as many as 27,000 calls each day, with around 78 percent of these calls originating from a mobile phone.