Comtech secures a multi-million dollar deal to enable critical location based services for New Zeala


Comtech Telecommunications Corp. a world leader in secure and highly reliable wireless communication technology, announced today, that its Enterprise Technologies group, which is part of Comtech’s Commercial Solutions segment, will provide New Zealand’s Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) with a turnkey Location-Based Services (“LBS”) platform to support location requirements for Public Safety services. This multi-million dollar deployment provides coverage to the country’s Emergency Caller Location Information (ECLI) service, enabling location determination for handsets across all New Zealand mobile networks.

Launched by MBIE in May 2017, the ECLI service provides emergency dispatch services with the probable location of a caller when dialing 111 from a mobile phone, enabling public safety agencies to respond quickly. By deploying Comtech’s virtual LBS platform in a centralized data center, the ECLI can now connect to all local mobile network operators, complementing existing handset-based location services, including Advanced Mobile Location (AML) for Android and iOS handsets. This provide access to location data for all mobile handset models, regardless of network, throughout New Zealand, including international roamers traveling into the country.

“Since deploying the ECLI service in May 2017, we have made significant progress in providing a mobile caller’s location to NZ emergency services when they dial 111. However, to reach our target of providing high-precision location to 95% of genuine smartphone 111 calls, we recognized the need to expand our location capabilities and make it possible to locate any 111 call across New Zealand,” said Ben Quay, ECLI Programme Director, MBIE. “By integrating Comtech’s location platform into the ECLI service, we have delivered a handset and network agnostic location service capable of accurately identifying the precise location of any 111 caller. This further improves the safety of New Zealanders and now extends the capability for international visitors to New Zealand who call 111.”

“With the proliferation of mobile devices across the globe, legacy emergency service dispatch systems that have solely relied on landline connections to locate callers, are now dangerously impacted. This becomes even more challenging when working across multiple devices and networks that operate differently,” said Fred Kornberg, President and Chief Executive Officer of Comtech Telecommunications Corp. “By further extending the capabilities of the ECLI with our location platform, New Zealand’s MBIE is addressing this challenge head on and creating a more efficient and effective service for the country’s emergency personnel.”

In 2016, police in New Zealand recorded more than 8,100 incidents (from over 700,000 incidents), where a special information request to a mobile network operator was needed in order to determine a caller’s location, a time-consuming process that can be costly for emergency services. Since implementing advanced location services in 2017, the number of requests has declined due to handset derived location data, though this is limited due to AML being available only to Android and iOS handsets. The implementation of Comtech’s LBS platform provides a carrier grade implementation that provides enhanced location capabilities that guarantees a location using multiple methods even when AML cannot. Special information requests will decline further due to ECLI direct integration with New Zealand’s mobile networks.

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