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Emergency response at twice the speed with European eCall

Frequentis, A1, and Gemalto carry out the first end-to-end eCall in Austria

Frequentis AG / APA

The automatic emergency call system “eCall” which was initiated by the European Union makes it possible to automatically process emergency calls coming directly from vehicles more quickly, thus enabling faster initiation of emergency measures. Consequently, the number of traffic fatalities will decrease. The Frequentis communication systems are already well-equipped for eCall. Together with A1, network provider, and Gemalto, supplier of solutions for automotive and IoT-applications, the company presented Austria’s first end-to-end eCall in one continuous communication chain.

The test run took place at the Frequentis headquarters on March 28. The entire process, from triggering an actual eCall up to the data processing in the emergency call centre, was demonstrated. The eCall was triggered by a test vehicle equipped with Gemalto components (eCall Demo In-Vehicle System) that communicated the life-saving data the command centre would need in case of an actual crash.

Position, time & vehicle data

At first glance, an eCall seems like a ‘normal’ voice call. However, the details show that further crash data (GPS position, time of the accident, vehicle data, number of persons) is communicated simultaneously. Even if the accident victim is unconscious, finds it hard to communicate (e.g. language), or cannot give precise details due to the accident-related shock, the automated emergency call still reaches its target – the emergency control centre!

Assistance in the first hour (“golden hour”) is crucial for the survival of a severely injured person. The additional data shortens the rescue chain by up to 50 percent.

Frequentis CTO Hermann Mattanovich: “The eCall technology is currently being implemented across all of Europe. Consequently, our customers, the emergency control centres in the area of Public Safety, are adapting to these new requirements, too. In Germany, the first rollout is already under way; with this test we want to demonstrate – together with our partners A1 and Gemalto – that with our Public Safety communication systems we are well positioned in Austria.”

Marcus Grausam, CTO of A1, points out: “Particularly when it comes to eCall’s, high network availability as well as a stable connection play a vital role, and in case of emergency, they can be life-saving. Our society, the economy and the world of work are subject to constant change. The internet of things (IoT) and machine-to-machine communication are gaining more and more importance. With our networks, we provide the basis for the digitalisation in Austria and we accompany our customers on their path to the future.”

The data communication during an eCall works via Gemalto communication technology; Gemalto holds a global leadership position in the area of digital security. “Our mobility concept is focused on people”, says Thorsten Wiemann, who is responsible for the Automotive Modules portfolio at Gemalto. “Cars are increasingly becoming digital platforms; for us as a creator of solutions in the field of digital safety they thus form the access point for several digital services.”

Obligatory installation of eCall in every new vehicle starting in 2018

It is the European Commission’s goal to finish the introduction and implementation of eCall functionality by the year 2018. As of 2018, the emergency call system is an obligatory feature of every newly standardised car. The time that passes between an incoming emergency call and the arrival of the emergency personnel – which is a major quality sign with emergency call centres – will thus be shortened by 40-50%. According to estimates by the EU Commission, the number for accident fatalities will be reduced by up to ten percent. The partners involved in the eCall test run – Frequentis, A1, Gemalto – are looking forward to being able to make their contribution here.


To watch the video click here - Credits: Frequentis AG / APA

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