CRTC welcomes improved wireless 911 services

OTTAWA-GATINEAU, Feb. 1 /CNW/ - The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) today congratulated the Canadian wireless industry and the public safety community for having improved 911 services over the last year. Emergency responders in most regions of the country are now able to more accurately locate someone using a cellphone to call 911.

"We are delighted that wireless service providers have risen to the challenge of upgrading their 911 services," said Konrad von Finckenstein, Q.C., Chairman of the CRTC. "Canada is now one of the few countries where 911 operators automatically receive location information from the moment a call is placed from a cellphone. Thanks to the collective efforts of everyone involved, the safety of Canadians will be greatly improved during emergency situations that require quick action."

The new features rely on the Global Positioning System and triangulation technology to provide 911 operators with much more precise information on a caller's location. Further to discussions held early last year with the Canadian wireless industry, the CRTC determined that this wireless-location technology should be in place as of February 1, 2010.

Depending on the cellphone model and the reception conditions, call centre operators can generally determine a caller's location within a radius of 10 to 300 metres from where the call originated. Previously, emergency responders could only narrow down the location to a sector within the area served by the cellphone tower nearest to the caller, which could represent a radius of up to 20 kilometres in rural areas.

The wireless-location technology has been tested and rolled out in 121 call centres across the country. The wireless industry and the public safety community are working to resolve technical issues at 9 additional call centres. The Commission is monitoring their progress and fully expects that solutions will be found in the coming weeks, allowing every enhanced 911 call centre in Canada to make use of the technology.


The CRTC is an independent public authority that regulates and supervises broadcasting and telecommunications in Canada.

Reference documents:

News release, "CRTC announces enhancements to wireless 911 services," February 2, 2009

Information on wireless 911 services

Telecom Regulatory Policy CRTC 2009-40

These documents are available in alternative format upon request.

SOURCE Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission

For further information: For further information: Media Relations:, Tel: (819) 997-9403, Fax: (819) 997-4245; General Inquiries: Tel: (819) 997-0313, TDD: (819) 994-0423, Fax: (819) 994-0218, Toll-free No. 1-877-249-CRTC (2782), TDD - Toll-free No. 1-877-909-CRTC (2782),

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