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Why emergency calls in cars are under threat

© Pexels/Anya Juárez Tenorio

It's been a few years since the eCall system found its way into cars sold throughout Europe. During a road accident, it is triggered automatically (but can also be activated manually) to contact 112. It even transfers your location, time and registration number to facilitate emergency response. But only 5 years after the establishment of this emergency communication system on the Old Continent, it is threatened.

Indeed, the eCall system is supports 2G and 3G networks, which telecom operators want to turn off in all European countries. According to La Tribune, automobile manufacturers and telecom operators have therefore engaged in a real standoff.

What will become of the eCall system?

Obsolete, expensive and energy-intensive… The 2G and 3G networks only have flaws, according to telecom operators. Which explains their desire to extinguish them in the coming years. However, they save time in the event of road accidents and potentially save lives. Indeed, at present, more than 30 million European cars are equipped with the eCall system, which uses 2G or 3G networks.

Following the request of manufacturers automobiles, the European Commission is looking into the issue and has commissioned the Spanish research firm Idiada to carry out an investigation into the consequences of the end of 2G and 3G networks in Europe on the automobile industry.

If the research firm recommends splitting the pear in two, with the maintenance of a 2G network per member country of the European Union, no decision has yet been taken. In France, the Ministry of the Economy specifies that the government has no legal means to prevent telecom operators from closing 2G and 3G networks.

Despite the situation urgently, La Tribune reports numerous inconsistencies on the part of Brussels. Europe would have a certain responsibility in this whole affair, given that it would have taken time to validate the 4G standard, which is today the benchmark in communications. Also, telecom operators specify that car manufacturers had been warned for a while and that they did not anticipate this network closure. Thus, many vehicles continued to be sold throughout Europe with 2G and 3G connectivity, despite the possibility of closing these obsolete networks.

Thus, it is difficult to know what will become of the eCall system. A new emergency communication system could see the light of day by 2026. But vehicles equipped with the current system will have to go through the garage to replace it. Another possibility ? Maintaining these networks for another fifteen years. But we doubt that telecom operators will give this possibility a chance. To make it simpler, but far from being a truly satisfactory solution, the European obligation for this system could be removed…

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Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116