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UAE mobile networks ready for eCall emergency service

eCall vehicle system automatically contacts emergency services in case of traffic accident

UAE mobile networks ready for eCall emergency service
The eCall system automatically contacts emergency services in case of a traffic accident.

The UAE's mobile phone networks will be capable of supporting the eCall emergency system, the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority has announced.

eCall is a system which automatically enable vehicles to call emergency services for help if involved in traffic accidents.

The mobile networks of Etisalat and du were evaluated earlier this year by testing specialist TÜV Rheinland Middle East and eCall laboratory NavCert, to ensure conformity and performance with eCall requirements.

The TRA said in a statement that it has "considered the implementation of the new 'eCall' system" but gave no timescale for roll out.

The eCall device in the car is activated once it senses a severe impact during an accident, and automatically initiates a call to the nearest emergency centre. It also transmits the location of the accident and the type of vehicle and whether it was carrying hazardous materials.

The solution also makes a voice connection between the vehicle and the emergency call centre in addition to the automatic data link, so that any car occupant capable of answering questions can provide the call centre with additional details of the accident.

NavCert used state of the art simulators, used in more than 40 organisations and 25 countries to perform thousands of test calls during the survey. The survey covered more than 5,000 km of the UAE's roads, including all seven Emirates, the Western Region and major highways.

"This is a major milestone for the UAE, adding to the record of our achievements at the national level. It has proven that the infrastructure of the licensed mobile networks is able to accommodate innovative services such as the automatic eCall system. As such, connecting the vehicle with the competent authorities in the event of any road accidents. The eCall system is here to save lives, as it reduces the time to alert rescue services due to its supreme location accuracy. In addition to automatic calls, it also specifies the incident location with high accuracy. The TRA is delighted to consider the introduction of an eCall system within the nation, as an absolute necessity, in order to drastically reduce the amount of fatalities in road accidents and to achieve the 2021 goal of zero road fatalities," said HE Eng. Majid Sultan Al Mesmar, TRA Acting Director General.

For the successful implementation of eCall in the UAE, cooperation between the Ministry of Interior, vehicle manufacturers and the TRA is essential, making the integration of the system mandatory in all vehicles.

"The nation's mobile phone networks are based on the latest global technologies and technical standards. They are continuously and periodically updated, to remain compatible with the latest technological developments such as eCall, and in line with the vision of the UAE leadership, to be proactive in all areas. And in order to ensure the readiness of the network, TÜV Rheinland, as a global resource, actioned the necessary tests to authorize the readiness of the UAE networks," said Eng. Saif bin Ghalaita, TRA Director of Technology Development Department, project manager.

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