Interenational Affairs Department, Telecommunications Bureau MIC Communications News Vol.17 No.12 September 29, 2006 Biweekly Newsletter of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications(MIC), Japan

Please feel free to use articles in this publication, with proper credits.

Outline of the draft budget for FY2007 as proposed to the Diet by MIC

Development of u-Japan Policy

MIC is promoting its u-Japan policy with the aim of realizing a ubiquitous society in which connection to networks is available anytime, anywhere, for anything and to anyone.


Emergency Location Reporting System --Providing location information in emergencies using mobile telephones--

It has now become possible for location information to be communicated immediately, even when using mobile telephones or IP phones, to advise of an emergency.

At present, in conjunction with the explosive dissemination of mobile telephones, the proportion of emergency calls from mobile telephones is increasing sharply. For example, in 2005, of 9.39 million calls received by police organizations, 5.54 million, or about 60%, came from mobile telephones. However, when calls come in from mobile telephones, it is often the case that the callers are unable to give information on their exact location, which can result in the police, coast guard or fire brigade experiencing delays in getting to them. In order to remedy this situation, a system has been put in place for locating the caller’s position even when the call is from a mobile telephone. With the realization of this “Emergency Location Reporting System,” people can feel safer and more secure in an emergency.
With information on location being relayed by the mobile telephone or IP phone, help can come quickly

What is the Emergency Location Reporting System?

The Emergency Location Reporting System automatically notifies the receiving organization of the call location when a call is made to an emergency number (110, 118 and 119) from a 3G mobile telephone or an IP phone. With telephones that are equipped with GPS, the GPS information is relayed, and with phones that are not equipped with GPS, base station information is sent.

In which areas can this be used?

In order for the Emergency Location Reporting System to be put in service, the organizations that will be contacted have to install a system for receiving the location information. The areas that had made the installation as of April 1, 2007, are listed below.

This system will gradually expand nationwide. For details, please consult the websites of each of the relevant organizations.

What if you don’t want location information reported?

If the person making the emergency call pushes 184 before pushing 110, 118 or 119 when making an emergency call, location information will not be transmitted. However, there will be cases when the receiving organization will obtain the location information of the caller, if they have reason to believe that someone’s life is in danger. In addition, even after this system has been introduced, there will be cases when a poor signal will make it impossible to verify the location exactly using the system, so let’s make sure, when making an emergency call, to give correct information on location and destination.

Background to the concept of the Emergency Location Reporting System

The diffusion of mobile telephones that make it possible to call from anywhere has made our lives a great deal more convenient. At the same time, there has been a big increase in emergency calls made from mobile telephones. However, being able to make emergency calls from mobile telephones doesn’t necessarily mean that you will know exactly where you are when you make the call. It is possible to have an accident in a place you are visiting for the first time, and even with places you visit often, you may not know the exact address. There are also situation and circumstances in which you cannot describe it accurately. The time it takes for emergency services to get to the site after receiving calls has grown by one and half minutes in the past ten years. In order to address this state of affairs, it has become necessary to set up a system whereby the location of a call from a mobile telephone or IP phone can be identified.

The number of emergency calls using mobile telephones (2005)

So, about how many emergency calls are in fact received from mobile telephones? There were a total of 18.81 million emergency calls received in 2005 by the police (110), coast guard (118) and fire service (119). Of these, about 7.55 million were received from mobile telephones, accounting for 40% of the total. By organization, 59% (about 5.54 million) of emergency calls received by the police (about 9.39 million in total), were from mobile telephones, as were 59% of those received by the coast guard and 23% of those received by the fire service.

Changes in calls to 110 and the number of calls received from mobile telephones

So, what has been the rate of increase in the number of calls to the 110 number received by police organizations? Of the 6.20 million calls received nationwide in 1996, 1.35 million came from mobile telephones, accounting for 22% of the total. In 2005, however, 5.54 million calls, or 59% of the total (9.39 million calls) were received from mobile telephones. So, the proportion of calls received from mobile telephones has increased by 37 points in ten years. The total number of calls is more or less flat, but the proportion coming from mobile telephones is expecting to continue to increase in the future.