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TeleCommunication Systems Interoperability Lab Drives Text-to-911 Deployment for Public Safety

TeleCommunication Systems Interoperability Lab Drives Text-to-911 Deployment for Public Safety

Note: Comtech Acquired TCS on 2/23/2016

ANNAPOLIS, Md., July 14, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- TeleCommunication Systems, Inc. (TCS) (NASDAQ: TSYS), a world leader in secure and highly reliable wireless communication technology, today announced that TCS has extended its Interoperability Lab to include Session Initiation Protocol (SIP)/ Message Session Relay Protocol (MSRP) testing for text. TCS has completed MSRP interoperability testing with four public safety equipment vendors: Airbus DS Communications, Emergency CallWorks, ModUcom and Solacom. The TCS Interoperability Lab enables NENA i3-compliant call-handling solution vendors to test their text-to-911 interfaces and software prior to deployment into Next Generation 9-1-1 (NG9-1-1) public safety answering points (PSAPs).  Four additional public safety equipment vendors are in the process of equipment testing for NENA i3 compliance.

TCS continues to drive interoperability efforts by working with legacy text-service providers that use proprietary protocols as well as next generation providers that use the standards-based MSRP protocol, in order to simplify the deployment and accelerate the adoption by PSAPs interested in receiving text-to-911 messages.

TCS today supports more than 530 PSAPs with production service in 35 states or regions and is working with an additional 330 PSAPS to implement text-to-911. The TCS Interoperability Lab allows call-handling solution vendors to test the interfaces that process these messages. This provides an effective path to ensure smooth deployment of MSRP-based interfaces for text-to-911. PSAPs, in turn, will know which releases of a vendor's call-handling software have completed MSRP interoperability testing prior to relying upon them to process emergency text messages from the public.

News Facts:

  • TCS was the first to deploy text-to-911 to PSAPs via all three available methods: TTY, Direct IP using secure web protocols, and next generation MSRP.
  • On May 15, 2014, TCS participated in the first interoperable text-to-911 production deployment, successfully connecting wireless carriers, text service providers and emergency communications centers.
  • As of the beginning of May 2015, due to the aggressive enablement of PSAPs by TCS, the percent of delivered texts to 9-1-1 has increased by 70% over 2014 rates, which in turn was 35% higher than 2013 delivery rates.
  • The top four carriers, accounting for nearly 90 percent of all wireless subscribers in the United States, today support the ability to deliver Short Message Service (SMS) messages to any PSAP that has indicated its ability to receive such messages.
  • States or regions with at least one TCS deployment of text-to-911 in production include Alabama, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New York, Nevada, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Washington D.C and Puerto Rico.
  • Since October 2012, TCS customers have, on a nationwide basis, delivered text-to-911 messages to receiving PSAPs or otherwise delivered bounce-back messages. If a PSAP is not yet capable of receiving text-to-911, the carriers using the TCS solution all deliver a "bounce-back" message, informing the sender to place a voice call to 9-1-1.
  • The FCC has created a Text-to-911 Readiness and Certification Registry which provides information on each PSAP that is ready to accept texts. To participate, 911 authorities or PSAPs must submit the FCC's PSAP Text-to-911 Readiness and Certification Form that provides entries for the PSAP to (1) indicate that it is text-ready and (2) include its contact information and other information necessary to notify covered text providers of the PSAP's readiness. For more information, visit: https://www.fcc.gov/encyclopedia/psap-text-911-readiness-and-certification.
  • Public safety equipment vendors connect to the lab remotely through a secure portal connected to TCS' lab, located in Seattle, Washington. Vendors interested in scheduling appointments for testing with the TCS Interoperability Lab for SIP/MSRP for text may email Text911Interoperability-Lab@telecomsys.com.

TCS Safety & Security Group Senior Vice President Lynne Seitzstated: "In our connected society, the ability for PSAPs to accept and process text messages from the public is most often the first step in the transition toward NG9-1-1. The TCS Interoperability Lab serves as a catalyst for call-handling solution vendors to advance with confidence, knowing that their systems meet NENA i3 standards. We commend Airbus DS Communications, Emergency CallWorks, ModUcom and Solacom for their initiative and collaboration in proactively verifying their systems to ensure compliancy for their customers' NG9-1-1 deployments."

Since deploying the first U.S. wireless E9-1-1 solution in 1998, TCS has been leading public safety solutions for wireless Enhanced 9-1-1 (E9-1-1), NG9-1-1 and E1-1-2. TCS supports about half of all U.S. wireless E9-1-1 calls, serving more than 140 million wireless and IP-enabled devices. TCS achieved its 11th consecutive year of TL 9000 certification in November 2014 and is the only noncarrier TL 9000-certified organization that supports E9-1-1 services.  TCS is leading the enablement of text-to 9-1-1, and TCS leads the nation in emergency services IP network (ESInet) deployments. Its E9-1-1 and NG9-1-1 solutions ensure that a subscriber's emergency call routes to the appropriate PSAP and automatically pinpoints the caller's location information. For more information visit: TCS Public Safety.

About TeleCommunication Systems, Inc.

TeleCommunication Systems, Inc. (TCS), headquartered in Annapolis, Maryland, is a world leader in secure and highly reliable wireless communications. Our patented solutions, global presence, operational support and engineering talent enable 9-1-1, commercial location-based services and deployable wireless infrastructure; cybersecurity; defense and aerospace components; and applications for mobile location-based services and messaging. Our principal customers are wireless network operators, defense and public safety government agencies, and Fortune 150 enterprises requiring high reliability and security. Learn more at www.telecomsys.com.

Except for the historical information contained herein, this news release contains forward-looking statements as defined within Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. These statements are subject to risks and uncertainties and are based upon TCS' current expectations and assumptions that if incorrect would cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated. Risks include those detailed from time to time in the Company's SEC reports, including the report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2014, and Form 10-Q for the quarter ended March 31, 2015.

Existing and prospective investors are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date hereof. The Company undertakes no obligation to update or revise the information in this press release, whether as a result of new information, future events or circumstances, or otherwise.

Media Contact for Comtech Telecommunications Corp.:
Michael D. Porcelain, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
(631) 962-7103