ETSI Moves to Set Standards for IoT Applications in Emergency Communications


The group’s new report looks at IoT usage for many types of emergency situations including emergency calling and mission critical communications.

The European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) has begun to develop a set of standards for the use of IoT applications in emergency situations. The organization previously released standards for IoT security and smart factories, cities, and agriculture.

A recent report evaluates IoT use cases for mission critical communications and emergency calling. The report also analyzes IoT use in automated emergency response, where users can trigger connected devices which act to prevent hazardous situations.

Finally, the report examines potential failures that could put safety at risk. “Potential” includes:

  • Identifying points of failure
  • Assessing impact of use cases on existing/ future standards
  • Providing recommendations for requirements against emergency telecommunications’ (EMTEL) existing specifications for each domain

Using IoT Devices to Enhance Emergency Communications

The organization looked at IoT devices and how they can be used to enhance emergency communications such as:

  • Emergency calling
  • Mission critical communications
  • Public warning system type communications from authorities to the general public
  • Automated emergency response (new IoT domain) between two IoT devices

For automated emergency response, the report offered up several use cases:

  • An IoT device to shut off a gas line or slow down a train after receiving an earthquake warning
  • A smoke detector in a dumpster sending an alert in the event of a fire, potentially with a real-time video

The report also makes a series of recommendations for SC EMTEL, an emergency communications committee within ETSI.

The group also examined the relevant standardization work that has already been completed and looking at connectivity, security, interoperability, sensors, and more.

“It is worth remembering that the focus of existing specifications is very much communication between humans (individuals, emergency service personnel, authority operatives), and not communication with and between IoT devices. SC ETMEL may therefore wish to consider creating new specifications for each domain, referencing the existing specifications, where appropriate, but focusing specifically on requirements for IoT devices involved in emergency communications,” says ETSI.

ETSI recommends that SC EMTEL create new specifications for the the new automated emergency communications domain because it is specific to a set of machine-to-machine communication requirements unlike existing domains.

Sue Walsh

About Sue Walsh

Sue Walsh is News Writer for RTInsights, and a freelance writer and social media manager living in New York City. Her specialties include tech, security and e-commerce. You can follow her on Twitter at @girlfridaygeek.

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