GSMA Initiative Helps Save Lives and Create Safer Roads for European Citizens



    BRUSSELS, Sept. 9 /CNW/ - The GSMA, the body representing the worldwide
mobile communications industry, today signed a Memorandum of Understanding to
secure the deployment of a single, in-vehicle emergency call service, known as
eCall, across Europe. Rob Conway, Chief Executive Officer and Member of the
Board of the GSMA visited the offices of Viviane Reding, European Commissioner
for Information Society and Media, to sign the MoU on behalf of the global
mobile industry.
    eCall is an emergency call generated either manually by vehicle occupants
or automatically via in-vehicle sensors in an emergency situation. When
activated, the eCall system establishes a voice connection with the emergency
services. At the same time, it sends the critical data including time,
location, direction of travel and vehicle identification, to speed response
times by the emergency services. There were approximately 39,000 deaths and
more than 1.7 million injuries on European roads in 2008. According to the
European Commission's research, a service such as eCall can save up to 2,500
lives every year, reduce the severity of injuries by 10 to 15% and reduce
emergency response times by up to 50% in rural areas and 40% in urban centres.
    The MoU creates a framework for the introduction of eCall and is designed
to encourage co-operation between vehicle manufacturers, telecommunications
operators, the European Commission and the EU Member States, together with
other relevant parties such as the insurance industry, automobile clubs and
other industry partners. eCall, like emergency calls, will be offered free of
charge to users. In addition to the free eCall service, vehicle manufacturers
and service providers can provide additional commercial services to supplement
eCall.
    "eCall is a hugely beneficial and logical step forward in EU
policy-makers' attempts to reduce fatalities on European roads. The GSMA fully
supports the European Commission's MoU and, by becoming a signatory, we are
formalising our members' commitment to participate with other stakeholders in
deploying the eCall service," said Rob Conway.
    For operators, eCall can be one of the many features supported by the
Embedded Mobile Initiative, a programme driven by the GSMA with the aim to
accelerate the adoption of wireless connectivity in a wide range of devices.
In addition, operators will be able to offer new value added services, such as
in-car mapping applications.

    About the GSMA

    The GSMA represents the interests of the worldwide mobile communications
industry. Spanning 219 countries, the GSMA unites nearly 800 of the world's
mobile operators, as well as more than 200 companies in the broader mobile
ecosystem, including handset makers, software companies, equipment providers,
Internet companies, and media and entertainment organisations. The GSMA is
focused on innovating, incubating and creating new opportunities for its
membership, all with the end goal of driving the growth of the mobile
communications industry.

    For more information, please visit http://www.gsmworld.com

    An eCall video can be found at:
http://212.68.215.195/esafety/ecall_hq_2b.wmv

    The press release from the European Commission can be found here:
http://europa.eu/rapid/





For further information:

For further information: GSMA: Daniel Lowther: +44-7747-636-687,
press@gsm.org; For further information on the GSMA programme and activity on
eCall please contact Robindhra Mangtani: rmangtani@gsm.org, +44-7957-806261

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