Government prepares to add GPS data to Triple Zero calls

Request for tender to be released shortly

The government is preparing to release a single request for tender covering both the Triple Zero Emergency Call Service and additional location-based data services.

A planned upgrade to the service will allow emergency services to automatically receive location data when a call is placed from a mobile phone.

The Emergency Call Service is currently operated by Telstra. The government said that under the terms of any new contract, Triple Zero call centres will need to remain in Australia.

The preferred location technology is Advanced Mobile Location (AML): A standard originally rolled out in the UK that can use Wi-Fi or GPS-style services to determine location, which is transmitted via SMS or mobile data.

However, the government said that alternative solutions will be considered.

Location accuracy to within five metres is possible using AML. In 2014, cell tower triangulation was rolled out to help locate the source of a call placed from a mobile phone.

The origin of landline calls is determined based on an address lookup using the Integrated Public Number Database.

The government said that until the enhanced services is rolled out, the Emergency+ app could be used to provide location coordinates to Triple Zero operators