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ATIS and TIA Joint Release

ATIS Contact:
Marcella Wolfe
Phone: +1 202-434-8851

TIA Contact:
Ashley Rook
Phone: +1 202-429-4929

For Immediate Release: December 18, 2012

ATIS and TIA Collaborate on a Nationwide Text-to-9-1-1 Solution

Washington – The Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions (ATIS) and the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) today announced a collaboration to develop the near-term text-to-9-1-1 solution. This work will provide the standards that, upon implementation, will provide short message service (SMS) subscribers the ability to send an SMS text message to 9-1-1.

Currently, in the U.S., the capability for the public to contact 9-1-1 through texting does not exist. During an emergency situation, initiating a voice call to 9-1-1 is the preferred and most efficient method of communication; however, the ability for such communication is not always an option. The ATIS/TIA standards solution will create a common approach for users to send and public safety personnel to receive text messages, and provides the capability for them to communicate. It is critical that texting to 9-1-1 have a similar “look and feel” regardless of where the text originates in the U.S., and the ATIS/TIA standards solution makes this possible. It also supports the implementation of an auto-reply message advising an SMS subscriber to dial 9-1-1 if texting to 9-1-1 is unavailable in that area.

On December 6, 2012, AT&T, Sprint Nextel, T-Mobile USA and Verizon, all active participants in the joint ATIS/TIA effort, advised the Federal Communications Commission that “[t]ext-to-9-1-1 service would be made available by May 15, 2014.” With the completion of the joint standard targeted for publication in 1Q2013, service providers will be well positioned to have a standards-based solution to meet their target deadline.

“Various cities and states across the U.S. are already adopting multiple vendor-specific solutions for texting to 9-1-1. If this trend continued, then texting to 9-1-1 would turn into a regional service with little or no interoperability,” said ATIS President and CEO Susan M. Miller. “Ensuring public safety depends upon a reliable, nationwide standardized solution supporting text-to-9-1-1.”

The joint ATIS/TIA solution is envisioned without a third-party relay function and without redesigning the existing SMS architecture. The service that results from this collaboration is an interim solution while the long-term Next Generation 9-1-1 solution continues to be developed in ATIS and 3GPP for Multimedia Messaging Emergency Services in the next technology generation.

“Providing access to emergency and first responders is important to the safety and well-being of all citizens. TIA and ATIS are working together to bring jointly produced and effective industry standards that will enable the cooperation of regional, state and federal agencies with the carriers and wireless equipment providers. Together, the solutions developed will enable an entirely new generation of text messaging features that will facilitate access to emergency services and assistance.” said TIA President Grant Seiffert.

About ATIS
As a leading technology and solutions development organization, ATIS brings together the top global ICT companies to advance the industry’s most-pressing business priorities. Through ATIS committees and forums, nearly 200 companies address cloud services, device solutions, emergency services, M2M communications, cyber security, ehealth, network evolution, quality of service, billing support, operations, and more. These priorities follow a fast-track development lifecycle — from design and innovation through solutions that include standards, specifications, requirements, business use cases, software toolkits, and interoperability testing.

ATIS is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). ATIS is the North American Organizational Partner for the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP), a founding Partner of oneM2M, a member and major U.S. contributor to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Radio and Telecommunications sectors, and a member of the Inter-American Telecommunication Commission (CITEL). For more information, visit

About TIA
The Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) represents the global information and communications technology (ICT) industry through standards development, advocacy, tradeshows, business opportunities, market intelligence and world-wide environmental regulatory analysis. Since 1924, TIA has been developing standards to enhance the business environment for broadband, mobile wireless, information technology, networks, cable, satellite and unified communications. Members’ products and services empower communications in every industry and market, including healthcare, education, security, public safety, transportation, government, the military, the environment and entertainment.

TIA is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). Visit

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