Sponsored Case Study: Emergency Caller Location
SS8 provides a major mobile network operator in Ecuador with a fast, reliable emergency caller location solution to comply with the country’s regulatory mandates for accuracy on 2G, 3G, and 4G networks.
Mobile network operators in Ecuador must comply with some of the most stringent emergency caller location mandates in the world. To meet these standards, SS8’s customer was seeking a new platform to extract reliable, high-accuracy 4G location data as well as centralize connectivity to 3rd party systems like ECU 911, Ecuador’s emergency response system. The customer also desired more scalability and efficiency in its existing 2G and 3G network location platform, and more transparent audit and reporting capabilities.
This operator needed a 3GPP compliant LBS platform capable of providing location accuracy across all network generations, including 4G and roamers, to within 50 meters in major urban areas. A highly-resilient, geo-redundant, virtualized solution was therefore critical to ensure no downtime. It also faced challenges integrating its cell tower database and location-based services solution to automatically process and visualize tower updates. Finally, it sought a more cost-effective solution that was scalable for future uses such as 5G network location and commercial services.
To meet the customer requirements, SS8 leveraged its experience with other regional clients in deploying our advanced location solution, LocationWise, in accordance with local mandates. Able to integrate into the provider’s 2G, 3G, and 4G mobile network elements, the system captures and delivers highly accurate, real-time location data to the country’s PSAPs.
LocationWise’s standards-based GMLC node provides mobile location accuracy equivalent to Cell-ID, including for inbound roamers. To achieve higher location accuracy, the platform’s SMLC (2G), SAS (3G), and E-SMLC (4G) nodes were installed. These elements contain SS8’s real-time location calculator, which uses advanced algorithms and available radio data to produce positioning estimates. This estimate is in turn enhanced by additional location methodologies, including SS8’s proprietary Accuracy+ (A+) node, which uses machine learning to provide one of the most accurate network measurements in the industry today.
Fully integrated with LocationWise, SS8’s MiddleWise is an intelligent, flexible, and customizable middleware layer for Location Services (LCS) applications. It is responsible for connecting to external systems such as PSAPs and Law Enforcement Agencies and manages advanced functions such as prioritization, authentication, authorization, security, privacy management, statistics, and reports.
MiddleWise also provides a configurable interface to LCS applications that allows emergency service clients to be prioritized, and an API so either the operator or third parties can leverage the capabilities of the geo-location platform.
One of the largest obstacles faced by our customer was the manual update of its cell tower locations database. To overcome this, LocationWise utilizes a powerful, automated Cell Tower Updater to enable monitoring, validation, and automatic update of the database, including visualization of cells and sectors.
The Cell Tower Updater triggers the database to update new or modified cells, typically every night, while maintaining parameter histories to ensure the accuracy of historical subscriber locations. It also highlights anomalies in the tower data received from the radio planning team.
All the platform’s elements were deployed as natively built software tailored for a specific virtual machine (VM), or as individual containerized services. This allows for the flexibility, scalability, and resilience advantages of modern virtualized environments. The high availability and active-active geo-redundancy provides reliability in a country with high earthquake risk, and it is readily extendable to commercial value-added services (VAS) use cases as well as 5G service.
LocationWise and MiddleWise also manage the high availability requirements necessary to achieve the specified system throughput and storage capabilities, both of which can be increased according to the customer’s needs within the scope of the agreement.
The Element Management System (EMS) of MiddleWise, accessible via the web, offers powerful tools to monitor the quality of data being provided to service partners. It provides visualizations of the entire cellular network, analyzing the location accuracy likely to be achieved in any area, and allows review of each individual location result to help satisfy emergency caller location regulatory audits.
Using SS8’s 3GPP compliant LocationWise and existing regional expertise, our Ecuadorian customer was able to achieve fast, reliable, high-accuracy emergency caller location and 90 days of call record storage, satisfying the national standards. It achieved full regulatory compliance using a seamless, cost-effective, standards-based solution that can serve it well into the future and also extend to commercial opportunities to help monetize the investment.
To learn more about how SS8 helped this customer, read the full case study here.