A recent article via the Yomiuri Shimbun re-states that services offering the GPS location of callers will be required on all new 3G cell phones in Japan starting April 1st in an effort to aid emergency callers. With the increased use of mobile phones has come an increased number of emergency calls placed on them. Among the 9.39 million emergency calls police received in 2005, 59 percent were made from cell phones. However, callers were often unable to explain their exact location when calling from mobile phones.
With the new GPS function, when a person dials 110 or 119 emergency numbers from a mobile phone, the location of the phone can be confirmed immediately. The Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry decided to require all 3G phones, such as NTT DoCoMo Inc.’s FOMA models, be equipped with GPS from April. The ministry hopes that half of all mobile phones in use will have GPS by 2009, and about 90 percent by 2011. Continue>>
Related: Accident Aid
Zurich Insurance Co. Japan Branch will introduce late this month a free service that can help customers involved in accidents. If a policyholder accesses the Web site through a GPS-equipped mobile phone from the scene of an accident, the location information will be automatically registered. This is expected to reduce the time for clean-up crews and others services to arrive at the site, according to the insurer. The companies also added that the location information of subscribers of these services will not be used without their consent.