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Defence Industry and Space

EU Space in Real Life

Galileo and 112

Galileo, locating you accurately, when time is of the essence. 

In Europe, more than 150 million people call the European 112 Emergency Number. Many cannot describe their location because they do not know where they are, they are injured or in panic.

Until a few years ago, when an emergency call was placed via a mobile phone, the caller’s location was established based on the coverage area of a cellular network tower. Unfortunately, the accuracy of that location information could vary anywhere from 2 to 10 kilometres. That’s a pretty big gap in which an emergency responder would need to find you!

But today, thanks to satellite navigation systems like Galileo, the EU can fill this accuracy gap.  

In recent years, the EU introduced a new technology called Advanced Mobile Location (AML). This technology uses location information (through GNSS) from the caller’s smartphone to accurately locate them. When someone dials 112 from their smartphone, AML uses the phone’s satellite navigation data from Galileo (and Wi-Fi) to accurately pinpoint the caller’s location. This information is then transmitted to a dedicated endpoint, usually a PSAP, which makes the caller’s location available to emergency responders, ensuring that help gets to where it needs to be even faster.  

As of 2022, the EU requires that all smartphones placed in the European single market be compatible with Galileo. Thanks to Europe’s positioning system, national authorities can now locate accidents or people in distress with an accuracy of down to just a few metres. This level of accuracy can have a major impact in terms of response times as in emergencies, every second counts.

Learn more about Galileo 

* Galileo does not track your phone. Only if you dial 112 your location is shared temporarily with emergency services.