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How a Master Agent Can Help Improve Location Technology

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How a Master Agent Can Help Improve Location Technology

August 13, 2014

  By Susan J. Campbell, TMCnet Contributing Editor

Anyone with a smartphone knows the value of their location. Every app launched asks to use it to improve the experience. The idea is to deliver information and offers relative to the individual’s location. It’s a great marketing strategy, but it isn’t the only value that location can deliver. If a 9-1-1 call is placed, location accuracy could be the difference between life and death.

According to an RH Reality Check article, the nation’s top telecom companies have been targeted with a petition and social action campaign launched by Ms. Magazine. The desired outcome is to improve location technology for 9-1-1 calls. The FCC (News - Alert) suggests that improvements in the ability to accurately locate at-risk cell phone callers can save as many as 10,120 lives each year.

In response to the number of incidents that have happened nationally, the FCC has proposed new regulations meant to prevent unnecessary deaths. While support has been promoted throughout the emergency response community, the largest wireless providers in the U.S. have objected to the implementation, claiming current technology cannot meet the proposed standards. Changes to the infrastructure would of course take time and money, but are the obstacles truly represented here?

These telecoms, mainly Verizon, AT&T, Sprint (News - Alert) and T-Mobile, are already making investments in 4G LTE technology that will shore up the current gaps in service that diminishes the experience for the user. With launch of this technology, location capabilities should improve. The question may be whether or not the FCC standards truly address the technology needs or are there challenges in the requirements that actually hinder the progress the telecoms are already making? Likewise, do the requirements apply only to the networks and not also to device manufacturers?

These questions are likely to be a reality for the business seeking to provide communications technologies for internal and mobile employees. Turning to a master agent to best determine the right technology is always a smart move as the opportunity to drill down on the details is essential. If an employee is mobile and needs to make an emergency call, first responders need to be able to locate the employee if a location is not audibly provided.

Likewise, when technology changes internally, can all callers be located? It’s not uncommon for a large operation with multiple offices and buildings to have one number associated with the address. If a distress call comes from within the building, precious time could be wasted trying to locate the caller based on that single address alone.

The master agent can lend considerable value in this process, providing companies with the information they need on the right provider and devices that will meet their needs, while taking location into consideration. The approach not only delivers on efficiency, it can also save lives.

Edited by Rory J. Thompson
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