Publication Details

Aloudat, A. & Michael, K. (2011). The application of location based services in national emergency warning systems: SMS, cell broadcast services and beyond. In P. Mendis & A. Yates (Eds.), Recent Advances in National Security Technology and Research: Proceedings of the 2010 National Security Science and Innovation Conference (pp. 21-49). Canberra: Australian Security Research Centre.


Location-based services can be broadly defined as any service that provides information pertinent to the current location of an active mobile handset at a specific window of time, regardless of the underlying delivery technology used to convey its information. To date, the short message service and cell broadcast service have been utilised by several countries during emergencies, however the future indicates that these services while cost-effective today, will almost certainly be superseded in the next five to ten years by newer more powerful capabilities. The path forward in location-based emergency services in Australia is given against a backdrop of the E911 experience in the United States, and supplemented with additional mini-cases of other national LBS deployments for emergency services also presented. Of particular importance is how location-based public alerting and warning systems are implemented using legislation or contractual service level agreement instruments or a hybrid approach. Of relevance here is also whether or not governments who deploy LBS for emergencies will carry the cost of the deployment during an emergency or disaster and whether or not carrier participation is mandated by the government. Finally a comprehensive list of general requirements for location-based emergency services is shown. In essence these are recommendations to be adhered to if robust solutions are to be deployed in a nation state.

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