ICE 7: External Apps, EIDD, Additional Data Charter & Goals
§ 1 - Background: In recent years, there has been a revolution in the creation and use of smartphone applications in global telecommunications. ‘Apps’ have affected every aspect of business and people’s personal lives except for one glaring exception; that being as a method of contacting emergency services.
Application developers now see 9-1-1 and access to emergency services as an area ripe for further development. Consequently, recent years have seen a big rise in the number of “9-1-1 applications” being developed for smartphones and other devices. Many applications are being rapidly developed by many different types of developers. Many developers may not be aware of either existing (legacy 9-1-1) or emerging NG9-1-1 industry standards. NENA has focused an Industry Collaboration Event (ICE), to meet the need for a test event that ensures applications are compatible with future systems.
The 9-1-1 industry cannot ignore the upside potential for apps to improve 9-1-1 service. Action is needed to tackle the question of how these external apps can be integrated into the 9-1-1 ecosystem.
The question to be addressed at ICE 7 is how to open 9-1-1 to accept these rapid application advancements while maintaining the universality required for success? The external application portions of the event are expected to involve methods of how applications can interface with NG9-1-1 Core Services (NGCS) in conformance with NG9-1-1 standards developed by NENA.
In addition to this testing, other technologies like the Emergency Incident Data Document (EIDD), will be tested against existing and emerging standards to ascertain required interoperability between and among vendor-supplied systems.
The EIDD concept and associated standards and schemas were jointly developed by APCO and NENA. These recommended standards specify the data requirements of incident information that must be shareable among disparate systems. This emerging standard will support such tasks as:
● reporting new calls
● sharing updated incident information
● query and response functions
● transferring emergency calls and associated information
These concepts have been in development for the better part of the last three years, but have not yet to be tested via the ICE process. The EIDD portion of the proposed event will focus on scenarios and use cases that will allow the testing of EIDD concepts of interoperability.
The APCO/NENA ANS Specification and Schema for the EIDD is forecasted to be available in time for ICE 7 under an NDA administered by APCO. For now, there is a preliminary description of the EIDD that was published by NENA that is available at www.nena.org/EIDD. [Please note that many of the details in NENA/APCO EIDD Information Document may have been changed in the development of the pending APCO/NENA EIDD Standard.]
Both EIDD and external applications parts of ICE will involve the participation of non-traditional vendors in the ICE process. The EIDD test will be open to many non-traditional ICE vendors, such as CAD / RMS / GIS. Use cases could involve mobile data terminals & radio system vendors, etc. who are intended key users of EIDD.
ICE 7 will also be testing Additional Data associated with an emergency call. This section of the event will include caller and/or location specific information. IETF has developed a schema for data associated with a call, and the NENA Additional Data Working Group has refined schemas for caller and location data. The work group’s recommended standard should be available for development and testing at the event using the use cases developed by the Planning Committee.
To promote the industry, NENA has invited vendors to participate in the NG9-1-1 interoperability Industry Collaboration Event ICE 7. Recent ICE events have tested various functional elements, NG components and aspects of the NENA i3 architecture.
ICE 7 will be open to, and in some ways dependent upon, the active and robust participation from vendors outside the traditional ICE test community.
NENA issued this invitation to participate to ALL relevant and interested vendors who have a stake in improving access to 911 using the anytime, anywhere, concepts promoted by the association.
All other next generation emergency service providers should also consider participating in ICE 7. Application developers, CAD / RMS / GIS / mapping / mobile data terminals & radio system vendors and the entire NG9-1-1 vendor community are invited to consider participating in this event and in the activities of its Planning Committee.
More information on ICE:
● Delaine Arnold ENP – NENA ICE Testing Coordination Manager - 727.312.3230
● Roger Hixson ENP – NENA Technical Issues Director - 202.618.4405
§ 2 - Structure: Planning Committee Roles and Leadership Team
● Mark Grady ENP – (INdigital) Co-Chair - physical and virtual event participant (Ethernet) networking, VPN support, logistics and problem resolution. Responsible for event scope, coordination and process development.
● Brooks Shannon – (Geo-Comm) Co-Chair - GIS/mapping scope of interop development, test scenarios, and problem resolution.
● Delaine Arnold ENP - NENA liaison, event planning and logistics, document and workflow management.
● Chris Rushton - Section leader for External Applications and their scope of interop, test scenarios, and networking at the BCF FE interface point, pre-event planning and problem resolution.
● Henry Unger & Jerry Schlesinger - EIDD scope of interop, standards document management, use case scenarios, and problem resolution.
● Matt Serra - Additional Data scope of interop, standards document leadership, focusing on caller data and location.
● Professor Carol Davids & Joe Cusimano - Event host, student worker coordination, vendor interop facilitator.
Event participants were:
Digital Data Technologies
Mark Grady, ENP
Jerry Eisner, ENP
Christian Militeau, ENP
West Public Safety
§ 3 - Charter: ICE 7 primarily focuses on three different, (but somewhat) related areas for testing and development. Specifically, ICE 7 will focus on interface testing of EIDD, External Applications, and Additional Data. GIS/mapping will be tested as part of a ‘breadboard extension’ where the IIT next gen breadboard will be used as a working core of NG components to facilitate the interfaces under test. GIS and mapping may also be tested within the focus areas of EIDD and Additional Data, to satisfy specific use cases.
The IIT breadboard will host and provide access to core functional elements which will process calls and queries, and it also includes supporting elements which record and report. Testing will include elements which provide additional data, MIS, CAD and bridging and a recording replicator.
Baseline testing includes dialing 911 and PSAP callback, with additional use cases as developed by the Planning Committee. Examples of these use cases include:
● Multimedia testing includes voice, video, text (includes TTY).
● Recording multimedia: SRC and SRS.
Because of the breadth of testing planned for ICE 7, a Leadership Committee was created, and then created section leaders to provide efficient event management. The planning committee consists of all active participants.
Members of the planning committee reviewed and had an opportunity to comment on the structure, and there were calls for additional section leaders.
The Leadership Committee will work with the ICE 7 Planning Committee to develop and refine the event concepts, which will then go to the full planning committee for review and final adoption.
This will include test scenarios and methods, test plans, and the method of data collection and reporting mechanisms for executing the interoperability tests. The collection/reporting mechanisms for this event will be developed with the assistance of Delaine Arnold.
1. For those that have participated in past events, here is what ICE 7 is not.
a) We are not testing end to end i3
b) We are not testing NG core Functional Elements, although a second test phase will be offered as part of the event.
2. What ICE 7 is:
a) Testing Functional Elements outside of the normal scope of testing conducted at previous ICE events. ICE 7 is about interfaces under test.
3. How ICE 7 will be structured:
a) We will leverage the IIT breadboard to get a call from an originating device (emergency caller UA) to the terminating device (PSAP UA or Responder UA).
b) The actual devices under test could be:
i. An application on a caller’s device, i.e. computer or phone.
ii. CAD / dispatching FE’s
iii. Call Handling (this might be PSAP CPE but may not be in the classic ICE context)
v. Any FE that would interface to the above, i.e. an ESRP that can use HTTP POST to get additional data.
4. Spring 2017 ICE event layout:
a) We plan to use the IIT ‘breadboard’ as the primary testing platform, because there will be a number of test scenarios for the three primary areas, and in the overall GIS/Mapping area.
b) As a second phase, ICE 7 is accommodating vendors that want to participate in the event with one or more FEs of the type tested a previous events. Vendors who wish to do this must have their FE pre-tested.
A vendor will need to complete this breadboard integration testing before the event, and pass the testing to qualify the FE. This optional testing during the event is to ensure that the core interface testing can be completed as planned.
i. This ICE event is expected to be complex, and the goal is to have testing of new interfaces and concepts testing using ‘known good’ configurations. Testing with unknown or untested FE’s in the active call flow could derail the event timeline.
ii. Pre-qualification can be done with a VPN connection to the breadboard, and event testing can also be done via VPN.
iii. This is a change from prior events, but it is hoped this structure will keep the logistics of the event on track.
c) The details of the qualification process will be developed and communicated to all participating vendors as part of the activity of the Planning Committee.
§ 3 - Goals
Plan and execute an event that:
1. Attracts and encourages the widest possible participation of vendors that have products in the focus area (including those outside of the traditional 9-1-1 marketplace).
2. Allows all participating vendors to test all valid architectures and configurations requested.
3. Delivers relevant feedback on standards to the appropriate NENA Technical Committee(s) and may identify gaps in existing standards work.
4. Allows vendors to better understand the interoperability between their implementations and products developed by other vendors.
5. Allows for the gathering of relevant results data that will be reported to the NENA Technical Committees, to other SDOs, and, at a high level, to all interested parties, all in formats appropriate to the audience in question.