About: Enhanced 9-1-1 Services (E9-1-1)

Overview

Freedom Mobile offers enhanced 9-1-1 services, also called E9-1-1. E9-1-1 is an investment by operators to provide better accuracy, more frequently, in order to determine your location when makinga 9-1-1 call. 

Usually, you can tell the 9-1-1 operator where you are, but sometimes you may not know, or may not be able to tell them, that’s where the location information provided by E9-1-1 comes in.

Customers in Alberta and Quebec will incur a 911 Levy. The 911 Levy is a government levy imposed by the provincial Governments of Alberta and Quebec.

Learn more about the Alberta Tax Levy and Quebec Tax Levy and why the Government is charging it.

E9-1-1 Location Accuracy

There are variations in the level of accuracy of our location information depending on where you are, what phone you have, and even what’s around you. Our system has several methods to provide the location information as accurately as possible, including:

GPS only: This method uses 4 or more satellites and the GPS functionality of your phone, if it is equipped. If you’re outdoors in a fairly open area, you have a phone with GPS, and there are 4 satellites that lock on, your location can be determined to around 50 metres.

GPS + Mobile Network: If GPS is not available, for example, if there are fewer than 4 satellites available, we use a combination of some network information and GPS (a hybrid approach). If you are outdoors, but we can only use network triangulation, and there is interference from buildings, trees, mountains, or other objects, then your location can only be known to about 600 metres.

Mobile Network Only: If no satellites are available or your phone doesn’t have GPS, we use network information and attempt to find the location by triangulation. In the absolute worst case, where your location can only be determined by a single tower location and you’re beside or close to a large body of water (like some of the channels and rivers in Vancouver), then the location accuracy can be up to a few kilometers in extreme situations.

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E9-1-1 Limitations

Each one of these methods is successively less accurate and is impacted by your phone, where you are, and what’s around you.

The GPS approach (the most accurate) becomes less effective the further indoors you go (away from windows). None of the methods work in 3 dimensions, meaning that if you’re in a multistory building, your location won’t show which floor you're on. It will only indicate the 2-dimensional latitude and longitude coordinates.

It is more difficult (and less accurate) to determine your location if you’re on the move. If you move after you’ve placed the 9-1-1 call, emergency services won’t be able to locate you.

Roaming

If you’re outside of the Freedom network or if you’re roaming outside of Canada, your wireless network services may be provided by one of our partners who may have different technical approaches to their emergency location services. The ranges of accuracy will be roughly the same, but not all networks (especially internationally) have the same requirements as in Canada.

Device

Most of our phones come equipped with GPS. If you’re not sure, you can check your phone's manufacturer's website.

Learn more about Canada's E9-1-1 service.

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Your Privacy

Freedom Mobile does not know where you go, or where you are at any time other than when you call 9-1-1. We don’t use the information, except to help emergency crews find you. The location information is provided directly to the 9-1-1 emergency operators and response units and is not shared with anyone else.

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Important Information about 9-1-1

When calling 9-1-1:

  1. Always provide your name, wireless phone number, and the location you are calling from.

  2. Remember, it's important to speak clearly. Stay on the line for as long as the 9-1-1 operator requires. Calls to 9-1-1 are free so take all the time that you need.

  3. Leave your handset turned on after hanging up in case the 9-1-1 operator needs to call you back.

  4. Please do not program 9-1-1 into your speed dial. This can lead to accidental calls that take up valuable emergency resources.

  5. Calling 9-1-1 on your wireless device is subject to the same limitations as all wireless calls. If you are underground or too far away from a wireless antenna, the quality of your call may be affected, or you may not be able to connect to the network.

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