5th Standards Development Organizations (SDO) Emergency Services Workshop


Summoning police, fire department, ambulance or other emergency services in case of emergency is one of the fundamental and most-valued functions of the telephone. As telephone functionality moves from circuit-switched telephony to Internet telephony, its users rightfully expect that this core functionality will continue to work at least as well as is has for the older technology. New devices and services are being made available which could be used to make a request for help which are not traditional telephones, and users are increasingly expecting them to be used to place emergency calls. However, many of the technical advantages of Internet multimedia require re-thinking of the traditional emergency calling architecture. This challenge also offers an opportunity to improve the operation of emergency calling technology, while potentially lowering its cost and complexity.

Existing emergency services rely exclusively on voice and conventional text telephony (known as TTY in the United States) media streams. However, more choices of media offer additional ways to communicate and evaluate the situation as well as to assist callers and call takers to handle emergency calls. For example, instant messaging, wideband speech codecs and video could improve the ability to communicate and evaluate the situation and to provide appropriate instruction prior to arrival of emergency crews. Future emergency services will allow the creation of sessions of any media type, negotiated between the caller and PSAP using existing SIP protocol mechanisms.


Today many standardization activities take place with regard to various parts of the emergency service architecture. They are, however, not as coordinated as they could be. There is the danger that uncoordinated activities lead to solutions that either do not work in some circumstances or to solutions that lead to duplicatework due to lack of knowledge of work done by other SDOs.

Four SDO emergency services workshops have been held already and a number of other smaller coordination activities have taken place. Previous workshops have been held in the US (New York, Washington, DC, and Atlanta), and in Brussels, Belgium.


The high-level goals of the SDO emergency services coordination workshops are:

One of the main goals of the emergency services workshop series is to build a community of emergency services experts. In order to enable workshop attendees to interact in an informal setting, the organizers have set up social events during the evenings of workshop days.


This is a public workshop and hence everyone may join. Based on based workshops, we expect participants from standardization organizations, regulators, researchers, VoIP providers, network operators, and stakeholders from the PSAP operator community. On the first workshop day we will offer a tutorial to allow newcomers to get up-to-date with the past standardization efforts. The policy panel aims to target people with an interest in policy and regulatory aspects. On the second day updates from various standardization organizations are provided. This will allow participants to learn about the most recent activities and to hear about challenges and the upcoming work that is being planned. With the end of the second day we are planning to finish the citizen-to-authority emergency services theme in order to start the third workshop day with authority-to-citizen and authority-to-authority emergency services.   

High Level Agenda

Day 1 (21st October 2008)
9am – noon: Citizen-to-Authority Emergency Services Architecture Tutorial
      (includes work done by the IETF, 3GPP and NENA)
1pm – 3pm: Regulator Policy Panel
3pm – 5pm: Project Updates
6pm: Winery Tour Gumpoldskirchen (http://www.spaetrot.com)
Dinner in a 16th century wine-restaurant (http://www.krug.at)

Day 2 (22nd October 2008)

9am – 2pm: Standardization Updates (IETF, WIMAX Forum, NENA, OMA, IEEE, 3GPP, 3GPP2, DSL Forum, ATIS-ESIF, ETSI EMTEL, etc.)
2pm: PSAP Tour
5/6pm: 7 Stern Bräu Brewery with dinner (
Day 3 (23rd October 2008)
   Authority-to-Citizen Communication
   Authority-to-Authority Communication
   Future of Emergency Services: Sensor Networking
           Traffic monitoring
           Tunnel cameras
           Train Stations
 Evening Program: farewell right in the center of Vienna (http://www.esterhazykeller.at/)

Day 4 (optional, 24th October 2008)
   AM: 2 hour walking tour of Inner City of Vienna

The detailed meeting agenda can be found here. The slides can be found here.

Meeting Venue

[UPDATED] Natural History Museum, Burgring 7, 1010 Vienna, Austria.

Travel & Hotel Information

Type Name Street ZIP Email single R. CODE

Workshop Participation

This meeting is again planned as a public workshop.  All participants have to register (regardless whether you give a presentation or not). The workshop registration webpage is available here: http://edas.info/6857.  A 120 EUR registration fee will be collected for food, drinks and for the social events. 

Remote Participation

* Jabber Chat Room

We are going to use the xmpp:ecrit@jabber.ietf.org.  

If you are new to Jabber then you might want to take a look at the following webpage.  

Jabber logfiles will be made available after the meeting. 

* Conference Bridge / Webex 

Information about remote participation via Webex can be found here.  Webex also provides Instant Messaging support and hence remote participants will be able to ask their questions.

Program Chairs

The workshop is organized by the following persons:

Workshop Sponsor

We would like to thank Frequentis AG for their financial and logistical support for this workshop.

Frequentis logo
If you have questions please direct them to Hannes.Tschofenig@gmx.net with a subject header of "SDO Emergency Services Workshop".