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Topic # 57739 23-Feb-2010 13:00
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It's fair to say that we can't 100% rely on any mobile provider in an emergency, but, something's struck me about the beat up over XT users being unable to contact 111.

Please correct me if I'm wrong on either of these points.

Assumption 1 - using the international emergency number 112 will force the phone to connect to any available network to make an emergency call. 111 won't as it's not an internationally recognised emergency number.

Assumption 2 - all W850 phones can also operate on the GSM frequencies used by Vodafone's network (just not their W900 3G network).

Would it not be better for us to use 112, as that would provide a backup option if one network were unavailable?

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  Reply # 301463 23-Feb-2010 13:16
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It's a good question.

In Australia all handsets are required to treat 000 the same as 112 - it will connect to any network and will even work if the handset is locked. This can easily be done with a Phase2+ SIM, prior to that firmware had to support this.

Does anybody know the full story with NZ handsets? I know many will handle 111 in the same way as 112 and connect to any available network but the question is what % of handsets this actually do this.

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  Reply # 301475 23-Feb-2010 13:42
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What happens if you dial 112 from a landline? Is it feasible for the emergency services to begin promoting 112 as the "new" number?

 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 301493 23-Feb-2010 14:05
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Behodar: What happens if you dial 112 from a landline? Is it feasible for the emergency services to begin promoting 112 as the "new" number?


No, because 111 is the emergency number in New Zealand.

There are a handful of other emergency numbers mapped back to 111 including 911 and 000, I'm unsure if 112 is and it's also something that probably differs between different providers.

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  Reply # 301497 23-Feb-2010 14:24
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http://www.police.govt.nz/service/111/faq.html


What about 911 and 112?
The emergency number for New Zealand is 111.

In other countries different numbers are used for emergency service calls. 112 is a common emergency number used in Europe and 911 is used in USA.

If you dial 112 from a GSM mobile (eg Vodafone) in New Zealand, your call will be transferred to the 111 Emergency Service. If you dial 112 from any other phone in New Zealand you will get a recorded message asking you to redial and call 111 directly.

In New Zealand dial 111 in an emergency.

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  Reply # 301502 23-Feb-2010 14:43
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I thought the otherseas numbers were handled anyway.

Also personally I think 111 is a bad choice....or any variation where the same 3 numbers are used.  Only after watching my 9 mth old with the phone, they tend to hit one button repeatadly.

This wouldn't happen with a 911/112 type number as you purposely have to hit the correct numbers.




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  Reply # 301510 23-Feb-2010 14:58
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davidcole: I thought the otherseas numbers were handled anyway.

Also personally I think 111 is a bad choice....or any variation where the same 3 numbers are used.  Only after watching my 9 mth old with the phone, they tend to hit one button repeatadly.

This wouldn't happen with a 911/112 type number as you purposely have to hit the correct numbers.


Yes, this is one of the reasons why 112 was chosen.

I've done a little more research on the 111 issue as well.

Every SIM card used by Telecom is phase2+, every SIM card used by Vodafone for a number of years is also phase2+. These SIM cards know that 111 and 112 are both emergency numbers and both numbers are treated equal.

If your phone is locked 112 will bypass the lock to make a call, 111 is handled in exactly the same way. Once you have dialled the number the phone then signals to the network that the device wants to make an emergency call which is handled differently to a regular phonecall.

If your phone is connected to a network and unable to get a response from the network when this request is sent it will automatically attempt to connect to other available networks. In NZ all 3 networks will allow emergency calls from any handset that contains a valid SIM card.

In a nutshell when XT was down any XT handset that tried to dial 111 would have attempted to connect to either Vodafone or 2degrees to complete that call.

It will be interesting to see whether the media or Telecom attempt to follow up the individual(s) who said they called 111 - if they did it would be possible to see whether there phone connected to another network.

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  Reply # 301513 23-Feb-2010 15:05
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XT handsets camped on the Vodafone NZ 2G / 3G network can dial 111, 112, 911 and Vodafone NZ will let the call proceed if there is a SIM in the phone.

John

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  Reply # 301558 23-Feb-2010 16:16
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This issue was discussed at the press conference today.

If a mobile phone cannot acquire its network it will acquire any network it can to complete an emergency call. Sometime your phone that is out side of coverage will say 'emergency calls only' its using an alternative network at this time.

The issue with the fault last night is that most phones were able to connect to the network and some could use data and text services. Voice calls could not be completed. In this scenario they phones did not acquire a different network so no emergency roaming took place.

Apparently this is a limitation that most networks have.





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  Reply # 301575 23-Feb-2010 16:53
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johnr: XT handsets camped on the Vodafone NZ 2G / 3G network can dial 111, 112, 911 and Vodafone NZ will let the call proceed if there is a SIM in the phone.

John


Likewise we will route 111, 112, 911, 119 (used in many Asian countries) and 999 (UK). 000 (Aus) might work (I have discussed it with core networks but I don't remember whether it was implemented or not).

Both Vodafone and 2degrees require a SIM in the handset before an emergency call will work, but it does not need to be allowed to roam. So, Telecom or Vodafone SIMs could make emergency calls on the 2degrees network should the situation arise. But a handset with no SIM in it will not work. This is to help prevent prank calling on emergency services.

Yes, it does happen. :-\

S




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  Reply # 301578 23-Feb-2010 16:58
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sbiddle:If your phone is connected to a network and unable to get a response from the network when this request is sent it will automatically attempt to connect to other available networks. In NZ all 3 networks will allow emergency calls from any handset that contains a valid SIM card


Of course this would assume that the phone is on automatic network selection rather than manual would it not?




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  Reply # 301587 23-Feb-2010 17:07
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davidcole:
sbiddle:If your phone is connected to a network and unable to get a response from the network when this request is sent it will automatically attempt to connect to other available networks. In NZ all 3 networks will allow emergency calls from any handset that contains a valid SIM card


Of course this would assume that the phone is on automatic network selection rather than manual would it not?


If the handset is unable to successfully authenticate to any networks - either because it's not a valid customer, or it's a foreign SIM with no local roaming agreements, or you forced it to manual - it will simply camp on the strongest signal in case you try an emergency call.




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  Reply # 301607 23-Feb-2010 18:30
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Just received press release from Minister for Communications and Information Technology:


Minister says 111 calls must get through

The Minister for Communications and Information Technology, Steven Joyce, says ensuring 111 calls made from mobile telephone networks get through is vital.

“The recent spate of outages on the XT network has exposed some shortcomings in this area and officials have been working urgently with Telecom since last evening to address these issues.”

Currently, Telecom is obliged under the Telecommunications Services Obligation (TSO) to provide emergency calling on its fixed network.  However, mobile phones are not covered by the TSO. 

Mr Joyce says that the government may need to regulate to ensure that operators prioritise 111 calls in situations where networks become unstable.

When networks are completely down handsets are programmed to roam on other available networks to make emergency calls. This is known as SOS mode.  When networks are intermittently down, or where voice services are down but data and text remain, this may not happen. This was the case in some areas last night.

“I’ve asked officials to look into this issue and I expect them to come back to me with a list of options in a short timeframe.”

Mr Joyce has welcomed Telecom’s plans to compensate customers.

“The reality though is that the thing their customers will most want is a stable network that they can rely on.  I reiterate the government’s concern over this ongoing issue. 

“The simple reality is that Telecom needs to solve this issue and solve it quickly,” says Mr Joyce.





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  Reply # 301614 23-Feb-2010 19:01
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Adding my 2 cents. 

There was no issue with what number was dialled (111, 112, 911 etc) to contact NZ emergency services, the problem explained today was phones were receiving a signal from the XT base stations and ‘technically’ connected to the XT network (data and sms services were working) this meant the Device / SIM had no reason to swap to another network.

The big issue was voice calls were not being handled correctly and any call routed down the attached XT network would fail including emergency calls. Agreed TNZ are at fault for not completing the call attempt, but handling of an emergency call when voice services are unavailable is really a limitation of the device / SIM and they are in part responsible. 

Testing of such a scenario was either; never thought of, based on an assumption that service outages tend to lose all services and the phone goes roaming (Which we know works), or the cost to replicate such a scenario versus the likelihood of occurrence would be uneconomical... (Just appreciating hindsight as a virtue right now!)

To make an emergency call in that situation required the customer to manually select an alternative network and the call would have successfully completed. But this isn’t a practical or acceptable scenario to offer customers during an outage... they just want the network to work.

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  Reply # 301617 23-Feb-2010 19:14
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So maybe when no voice calls can be made Telecom should fully turn off there XT network untill the fault is know and can be fixed? That way every XT phone would then find Vodafone or 2 degrees network if a 111 call was needed to be made.

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  Reply # 301618 23-Feb-2010 19:15
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scottychch: So maybe when no voice calls can be made Telecom should fully turn off there XT network untill the fault is know and can be fixed? That way every XT phone would then find Vodafone or 2 degrees network if a 111 call was needed to be made.


Sure it's an option! But much prefer the scenario never happens again.

Another option seeing data services were working was to fire up that skype tool! ;)

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