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Specialist Task Force 623:
Update of Emergency Communications Network Resilience and Preparedness guidelines

Who we are:


Team leader:
  • Michelle Wetterwald, Netellany SASU,
Team Members:
  • Kirk Burroughs, Apple GmbH,
  • Anton Donner, Ingenieurbüro Donner,
  • Evangelos Markakis, Hellenic Mediterranean University,
  • Olajumoke Olumide, Ex2 Management Consulting,
  • James Winterbottom, Deveryware,

What we do

Since the last release of technical report ETSI TR 102 445 ("EMTEL; Overview of Emergency Communications Network Resilience and Preparedness") in 2006 many communication technologies have evolved significantly - or are about to disappear.

The objectives of STF 623 are to align the TR with state-of-art technologies and to derive core concepts for reliance and preparedness. With these results the TR will be usable as a reference by emergency services, as well as by their network and service providers.

In the first task of the STF we will analyse, from both technical and operational points of view, (un)managed networks and technologies, which are relevant for emergency communications domains as defined by the TC EMTEL four main pillars (see TC EMTEL Terms of Reference).

The outcome of the second task will be a consolidated set of up-to-date guidelines for emergency communications preparedness and resilience. Where standards covering resiliency and preparedness are already available (for example at 3GPP), the STF will reference them rather than duplicate their work.

For more details, see our Terms of Reference

Why we do it

Being able to communicate efficiently and effectively in emergency situations alleviates the number of injuries and fatalities. It also reduces adverse effects on the environment and personal property. The issue sizes to be considered are:
•    Day-to-day emergencies and rescue works (e.g., medical emergencies)
•    Major incidents with local extent
•    Small to mid-scale disasters with local to regional extent
•    Large disasters to catastrophes with regional to (inter-)national extent

Asking for help and receiving alerts is of utmost importance for individuals, and the European Union instructs its member states to ensure proper mechanisms are implemented (see articles 108, 109 and 110 of the European Electronic Communications Code [1]).

Networks and services provided for enabling and accessing emergency services must be designed to be resiliency. These networks and services need to be resilient to multiple failures and be capable of quickly returning to normal service conditions when a failure results in an impact to a service. As an example, in the recent past, there were several outages of emergency call numbers (e.g., June 2021 in France, November 2021 in Germany) which led to important service failures.

The topic of network dependability was the objective of the guidelines provided by ETSI TR 102 445 ("EMTEL; Overview of Emergency Communications Network Resilience and Preparedness"), published in 2006. The Technical Report presented network resilience and preparedness concepts and considered their application within the technological systems that enabled emergency communications. It applied to all types of communication networks: mobile radio, but also to fixed lines, and private networks.

Many of the definitions and the main concepts in TR 102 445 are generic and still valid. However, communication means, architectures and technologies used by emergency services have significantly evolved in the past 15 years, leaving the communication technologies considered in TR 102 445 mostly outdated.

The scope of the report goes beyond mobile and radio networks and applies to the complete spectrum of network connections. The topics of resilience of preparedness are not covered in a holistic manner to support manufacturers and integrators designing networks for emergency services. A higher-level document covering all types of communication networks, as well as the next generation services and systems is still needed in line with the objectives of TC EMTEL. The revised TR will also collect and leverage the experience and "lessons learnt" on preparedness and resilience from existing providers of emergency systems.

[1] Directive (EU) 2018/1972 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 December 2018 establishing the European Electronic Communications Code.

How we do it

The work of the STF has been split into three main tasks:
•    Task T0:    Project management
•    Task T1:    Technical analysis of more recent technologies to consider
•    Task T2:    Preparation and consolidation of up-to-date guidelines

It is performed under the guidance of ETSI TC EMTEL.

Task T0 - Project Management and coordination with other organizations
Objectives: Provide appropriate development of the work in term of quality and timely delivery to ETSI TC EMTEL

Task T1 - Technical analysis of more recent technologies to consider
Objectives: To identify the technologies used by emergency services that need to be involved in the revision of the Technical Report.
This task will take into account the existing standardization work at EMTEL and in other technical bodies. It will review the set of base documents identified in the ToR, as well as other relevant documents identified by the STF team. It will analyse the current version of TR 102 445 and identify the parts which are outdated. It will provide a detailed list of the technologies used by emergency services, together with their main features, that need to be included in the revision of the Technical Report.

Task T2 - Preparation and consolidation of up-to-date guidelines
Objectives: To develop the updated guidelines and recommendations for the preparedness and resilience of emergency communications networks.
This task will develop a holistic set of guidelines and recommendations to replace the outdated content in TR 102 445. This content will be based on the defined main concepts of resilience and preparedness already described in the previous version of the Technical Report.


The STF will produce the following deliverable:
•    TR 102 445: Overview of Emergency Communications Network Resilience and Preparedness (Rapporteur Michelle Wetterwald)

Time plan

 Early draft of TR 102 445 with early content from Task T1 result.  

Early draft of TR 102 445 with stable content from Task T1 result.


Stable draft of TR 102 445 with final content from Task T1 results and stable content from Task T2 results.

Final draft of TR 102 445 approved by TC EMTEL.


Deliverables published, STF closed


How to contact us

For further details, or if you wish to be involved in the work of the STF, please contact the STF Leader by email:

This information is based upon STF working assumptions.

The views expressed do not necessarily represent the position of ETSI in this context.