Emergency Caller Location Information Service extended to 111 TXT

May 7, 2018

From Monday 7 May 2018, 111 TXT will be enhanced to improve the service provided to registered users of the 111 TXT service who send a 111 text message from an Android smartphone.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) launched the Emergency Caller Location Information (ECLI) service on 10 May 2017, providing ECLI to New Zealand Police, Fire and Emergency New Zealand, Wellington Free and St John Ambulance.

The ECLI service provides two sources of location information to Emergency Services:

  • 1.

    Handset-based location provides high-precision GPS and Wi-Fi derived location; and/or

  • 2.

    Network-based location provides a low-precision broad area of probability of where the caller is calling from.

ECLI helps to improve public safety by decreasing the time taken to determine the location of 111 mobile callers and by reducing the average dispatch time for emergency events from mobile phones.

From 7 May 2018, the ECLI service will be extended to 111 TXT with a progressive rollout initiated by Google that may take up to ten days for all Android phones to receive the update. There will be no noticeable difference or changes to the service for users, however the mobile phone will need to connect to an internet service to receive the update. From the time the update is received, if a 111 text message is initiated from that Android smartphone, not via a downloadable smartphone application (an App), and the mobile phone number has been registered for the 111 TXT service, Emergency Services may automatically be provided with the best available location information from that handset. Handset-based ECLI provides high-precision GPS or location information based on Wi-Fi locations, which improves the accuracy and speed for emergency call takers when it comes to verifying the location of the phone that the 111 text has come from.

It is important to note that the provision of location data for 111 TXT is not a guaranteed service as it is dependent on a number of factors including phone make, model and software version updates installed by the user.

The Privacy Commissioner has regulated the service through Amendment No. 5 to the Telecommunications Information Privacy Code 2003 providing an emergency caller’s location without requiring their prior consent. This enables an emergency service provider to facilitate a response to an emergency call.

Police will only hold the ECLI for the purpose of responding to an emergency text message and will keep a record of the information that was relied upon to respond.

To access more information about ECLI and a list of FAQ’s please refer to the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment website

The Police 111 TXT website has been updated to reflect this change.