UNT Research, Volume 18, 2009 Page: 26
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The research is timely. Driven by lower costs, more than 24
million people in the United States have switched to Voice-over
Internet Protocol - or VoIP as it is commonly called -
making adequate 911 services a paramount concern. Within the
next decade, Dantu says, VoIP is likely to replace the traditional
One of the biggest issues for 911 is how to track phone calls
made from Internet-based phones. VoIP is tied to an Internet
address rather than a physical location. For example, Dantu says,
an Internet user who lives in Denton may call 911 from his or
her laptop, but that person could physically be at a park in Dallas.
Tracking that person is a challenge.
That was illustrated last year when an 18-month-old boy in
Canada died after his parents used VolIP to call 911 and report
he was having seizures. The call was routed to the 911 center near
the family's previous address about 2,500 miles away from their
"This is the central challenge, and it affects all of us," Dantu
says. "Delays in emergency response times are a life-and-death issue."
Dantu is creating a 911 testbed for future research to experi-
ment on the next generation of 911 services. With the most recent
grant - $1.3 million awarded in summer 2008 - he is leading
a team of researchers from Columbia University and Texas A&M
University to design and build a platform.
Dantu and his team of researchers are searching for a low-cost
and practical way of tracking callers. Possibilities could include
location-sensor programs, similar to global positioning system
(GPS) technology or cellular-tower tracking; networks capable of
acquiring and storing location information; and delivery of loca-
tion information to Ethernet or wireless connections.
Another possible approach is to use Bluetooth-equipped
devices that can deposit location information within a building and
transmit it to mobile users.
Because each of the location-determining systems has positives
and negatives, the best option will likely be a combination of sev-
eral sensor technologies, Dantu says. For example, GPS works well
outside but is not reliable indoors. Finding a way to deliver loca-
tions to Ethernet connections could resolve the indoor problem,
26 SPRING 009 UNT RESEARCH
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University of North Texas. UNT Research, Volume 18, 2009, periodical, 2009; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc115032/m1/26/: accessed July 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting University Relations, Communications & Marketing department for UNT.