Wireless cell phones can be an important public safety tool, but they also create a unique challenge for public safety and emergency response personnel in locating the caller. The precise location of a caller who dials 911 from any cell phone cannot be determined. Therefore, it is essential that you stay on the line and clearly give your location to the 911 Operator.
A wireless phone is actually a radio with a transmitter and a receiver that uses radio frequencies or channels (instead of telephone wire) to connect callers. Because wireless phones are by their very nature mobile, they are not associated with one fixed location or address.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has taken a number of steps to increase public safety by coordinating development of a nationwide, seamless communications system for emergency services that includes the provision of location information for wireless 911 calls. This effort has been implemented in three phases: Phase 0, Phase I, and Phase II.
Wireless Phase II, in effect now, requires carriers to provide far more precise location information - within 50 to 300 meters (approximately 170 to 1000 feet). The cell phone vendors have different methods in which the cellular phone handset can provide the latitude and longitude for the caller, either through triangulation, GPS or a hybrid of the two. Denver is compliant with Phase II; however, your cell phone must also be compliant to obtain more detailed location data.