Google teams up with T-Mobile on more-accurate 911 location data
Emergency operators in the US will soon be able to get more-accurate information about the location of Android phones used to dial 911. Google said Wednesday that it's partnered with T-Mobile and emergency technology providers RapidSOS and West to send emergency call centers information from its Emergency Location Service (ELS), an enhanced location service that runs on 99 percent of active Android devices. About 240 million emergency calls are placed in the US each year, with more than 80 percent coming from mobile devices, according to the National Emergency Number Association. But because wireless phones are mobile, they're not associated with a fixed address like a landline.
Previously, phones relied on a combination of GPS technology and cell tower information to locate the caller to transmit not addresses but rather coordinates, which isn't as useful to first responders. It also isn't as effective when a device is indoors.