Non-voice communication such as text messages and instant messaging via wireless devices has been very successful and continues to expand. Many consumers assume that they can utilize these types of non-voice communications as mechanisms to communicate with emergency services whenever emergency assistance is required. Such mechanisms currently do not exist. The Emergency Services community has a desire to have multimedia emergency services supported with the same general characteristics as emergency voice calls.
Currently, TS 22.101 service requirements for emergency calls (with or without the IP Multimedia Core Network) are limited to voice media. The Non-Voice Emergency Services is intended to be an end-to-end citizen to authority communications. The Non-Voice Emergency Services could support the following examples of non-voice communications to an emergency services network:
Session based text messages (which does not include SMS) from citizen to emergency services
Session based and session-less instant messaging type sessions with emergency services
Multi-media (e.g., pictures, video clips) transfer to emergency services either during or after other communications with emergency services.
Real-time video session with emergency services
In addition to support the general public, this capability would facilitate emergency communications to emergency services by individuals with special needs (e.g., hearing impaired citizens).
NOVES does not preclude the support of specialized emergency services and devices designed for the special needs communities. The requirements defined for the support of specialized emergency services and devices for the special needs communities may differ from the NOVES requirements.
NOVES as defined in this document focuses on Next Generation Network (NGN) technology and does not include legacy messaging services, such as Short Messaging Service (SMS). In addition, NOVES only supports human initiated devices.