On 16 December, the European Commission published a delegated regulation supplementing the European Electronic Communications Code (directive 2018/1972). The regulation contains more specific rules relating to several topics, including caller location information.
The delegated regulation details how ‘competent regulatory authorities’ should determine accuracy and reliability criteria on how emergency communications should be located. Even though many stakeholders have highlighted the importance of EU-level cooperation, there is currently no concrete action foreseen by any relevant European authority within the required timeframe (BEREC’s 2023 work programme makes no mention of coordinating the definition of accuracy and reliability criteria).
As EENA expressed prior to the publication of the delegated regulation, a lack of coordination at the EU level could potentially result in 27 different sets of caller location criteria and therefore diverging regulatory requirements across the EU. This scenario would not be in the interest of EU citizens, whose personal safety might be better protected in one Member State when compared to another. This would also add complexity for solution providers and impact the overall effectiveness of emergency communications in the EU.
In order to avoid this scenario—or one in which Member States simply do not define caller location criteria within the required 12 months of the delegated regulation entering into force — EENA has decided to work on the drafting of a recommendation on accuracy and reliability criteria for handset-based caller location. Due to its limited resources, EENA’s recommendation will only focus on handset-based caller location and not on network-based location or fixed networks, for which Member States also have to adopt criteria. To perform its work, EENA will consider current requirements enforced globally and seek contribution from competent stakeholders, such as providers of smartphone operating systems and emergency services. EENA intends to present its first findings during the EENA Conference (19-21 April, Ljubljana) and publish its final recommendation in September 2023, so that Member States have time to consider our recommendations and submit fully realised criteria to the European Commission within the timeframe.
Full information on EENA’s contribution can be found here.