Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police invited ACD’s Kevin Schoen to address its members regarding the problem of cell phone networks failing. A majority of emergency calls are made on cell phones.
More than 400,000 calls in the U.S. are made to 911 from wireless devices every day, according to CTIA – The Wireless Association. Since wireless phones are mobile, they are not associated with one fixed location or address. While the location of the cell site closest to the 911 callers may provide a general indication of the caller’s location, that information is not always specific enough for rescue personnel to deliver assistance to the caller quickly. This is a crucial problem if the caller is not able to speak or tell the operator their exact address. Also, if the call gets dropped, the operator is not able to call the mobile device back so unless the person is able to call 911 again, the dispatchers will not know where to send help.
If you’ve been to a University of Michigan football game or visited Grand Rapids during it’s annual ArtPrize event, you’ve experienced our state’s outdated cell networks. The systems are collapsing during peak usage periods. Imagine having a 911 emergency during one of those cell system collapses. Selfies, YouTube videos and music streaming are over loading our state’s cell phone infrastructure. Details of Kevin’s report will be published soon. Stay tuned.