Layanan SMS, Twitter dan Facebook tidak dapat diandalkan untuk Layanan Emergency 911

Pemerintah AS telah meneliti penggunaan layanan SMS untuk layanan Emergency 911 untuk memberitahukan pihak-pihak yang terkait dalam kerangka penanggulangan kondisi emnergency itu, misalnya untuk menganisipasi akan adanya serangan teroris, ancaman pengeboman, dan lain-lain.
Ini adalah kesimpulan dari penelitian terhadap kemungkinan penggunaan layanan SMS. Dewasa ini ada sejumlah 152,7 milyar SMS yang dikirim per bulan di AS. Besarnya penggunaan SMS inilah yang menyebabkan tidak dapat dipakainya layanan SMS untuk notifikasi adanya kondisi Emergency 911, sebab dikhawatirkan berita-berita SMS itu tercampur dengan berita-berita lainnya yang tidak penting.
Kesimpulan yang sama juga juga berlaku untuk layanan-layanan Jejaring Sosial Twitter dan Facebook.
Penyebabnya adalah karena SMS hanya menjanjikan layanan “best effort”, merupakan layanan “store-and-forward”, tidak ada jaminan keamanan transmisi.
Bagaimanakah penggunaan SMS, Twitter dan Facebook di Indonesia untuk layanan Emergency, seperti untuk peringatan akan adanya Tsunami, gempa, badai, dll?
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4G Americas, a wireless industry trade association representing the 3GPP family of technologies, today reports that it has published a white paper that provides a technical and practical analysis of SMS as a means to contact 9-1-1 Emergency Services. The report titled, Texting to 9-1-1: Examining the Design and Limitations of SMS, presents a view of the capabilities, limitations, threats and vulnerabilities of this means of text communications for 9-1-1 notification.
A person’s ability to send text messages to 9-1-1 emergency services is a topic of significant interest and ongoing discussion in a number of communities, including public safety, people with disabilities and in the wireless industry. The term “text” signifies everything from the Short Message Service (SMS), to Instant Messaging (IM), to social networks such as Twitter® and Facebook®.  According to CTIA -The Wireless Association, in the U.S. in 2009, the number of annualized SMS messages was 1.56 trillion, or 152.7 billion monthly SMS messages. With millions of SMS messages sent each day, there is a perception that SMS is reliable; however, SMS was never designed as a reliable means for life-saving critical communications. SMS was designed to be secondary to voice calls and was never designed to provide the full and robust communications people have come to expect with voice calls.  Further, the issues and limitations for Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS) emergency communications, that typically include text, pictures and video clips, are similar to the issues and limitations for SMS-based emergency communications.
“While we understand the desire to use SMS to contact 9-1-1, SMS has significant limitations and shortcomings that do not make SMS suitable for emergency communications, especially under life-threatening conditions,” stated Chris Pearson, President of 4G Americas. “Today, voice 9-1-1 communication is the best and most reliable method of reporting an emergency and summoning help quickly. The industry is working on developing a reliable, non-voice solution to contact emergency services that is not based on SMS.”
The report notes that there are substantial limitations inherent in the design of the current Short Message Services which make it impractical to be used for emergency service.
Some key observations and conclusions of the white paper include the following:
  • No location information is available to the PSAP (Public Safety Answering Point) when a citizen initiates an SMS message and it traverses the network. Location is subject to whatever is put in the message by the originator, which may delay or misroute the message to the appropriate 9-1-1 answering point.
  • Because the SMS service was designed and deployed to use only temporarily-vacant capacity in the networks, wireless operators have always described service/reliability levels as “best efforts only” or equivalent.
  • No priority or special handling is given to SMS messages, so a potential emergency message would contend with the millions of other messages being processed at any given moment.
  • SMS is not a real-time communications service.  SMS messages is “store and forward” and thus may have a delayed delivery, may be delivered in a different order than the sender intended, or may be lost or discarded.
  • SMS was not designed with security mechanisms.
  • Current voice emergency services support calls to 9-1-1 for mobile devices that do not have an installed smart card or may not be authorized for regular voice services in the serving network, however, they do not support SMS messages due to the fundamental design of the network protocols.
The wireless industry (e.g., ATIS, 3GPP, 4G Americas) is working with national public safety organizations (i.e., NENA) to define requirements and make recommendations for a non-SMS based non-voice emergency services (NOVES). Their first issue is improving connectivity to 9-1-1 for the hearing-impaired (e.g., TTY Emulation). The wireless industry continues to be committed to working constructively with public safety on all Next Generation 9-1-1 topics and will continue to investigate potential solutions as demonstrated by recently initiated 3GPP standards study activity.
The white paper, Texting to 9-1-1: Examining the Design and Limitations of SMS, was written collaboratively by members of 4G Americas and is available for free download on the 4G Americas website at www.4gamericas.org.

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