Southwestern Bell Expands Direct Wireless 9-1-1 Service To Four More Eastern Missouri Counties

St. Louis, Missouri, October 2, 1997

Emergency 9-1-1 calls placed by Southwestern Bell Wireless customers in Gasconade, St. Francois, Ste. Genevieve and Madison Counties, Missouri, will no longer be directed to police dispatching units miles away. Instead, emergency calls will be directed to the local 9-1-1 service provider within the cellular customer's calling area.

Southwestern Bell introduced wireless 9-1-1 in 1994. Initially all cellular emergency calls in the region were handled by St. Louis County Police dispatchers. The agency requested the duty since they had the technical ability to immediately route calls to the appropriate police and fire department throughout Central and Eastern Missouri.

But now, due to Southwestern Bell's new wireless technology, emergency response time will be reduced because calls will be automatically directed to the appropriate 9-1-1 provider based on the cell site transmitting the call.

Emergency workers will also receive information helping to identify the 9-1-1 caller's general geographic location.

"We care about our customers and we're committed to providing efficient 9-1-1 emergency wireless services," said Mark Royse, regional vice president/general manager, Southwestern Bell Wireless. "At least 70 percent of our customers say they use our wireless service for their personal safety and peace of mind."

Calling 911 from a wireless phone is different than dialing the number from a home or business because there is no street address assigned to a mobile cellular number.

Instead, the wireless caller must verbally provide details about the emergency and the location. With the new system, the responding dispatcher can detect the caller's general location using the tower number and direction from which the call was transmitted by the tower.

"It's estimated that 97 percent of all 9-1-1 cellular calls are made on behalf of someone else," Royse said. "Many range from motorist breakdowns to serious crimes, fires and vehicle accidents."

Earlier this year, enhanced wireless 9-1-1 service was made available in St. Louis City and the counties of St. Louis, St. Charles, Jefferson and Franklin. Illinois 9-1-1 wireless calls made by Southwestern Bell customers within the Metro East are directed to the St. Clair, Madison, Monroe and Clinton County 9-1-1 providers.

Southwestern Bell provides the most extensive wireless coverage area than any other company in Central, Eastern and Southeast Missouri.

Southwestern Bell Wireless, together with SBC's other wireless affiliates, is a leading wireless provider, serving nearly 5 million customers in 78 markets nationwide. Southwestern Bell Wireless, a subsidy of SBC Communications Inc., is an international leader in the telecommunications industry, with more than 32 million access lines and nearly 5 million wireless customers across the United States, as well as investments in telecommunications businesses in nine countries. Under the Southwestern Bell, Pacific Bell, Nevada Bell and Cellular One brands, the company, through its subsidiaries, offers a wide range of innovative services, including local and long distance telephone service, wireless communications, paging, Internet access, cable TV and messaging as well as telecommunications equipment, and directory advertising and publishing. SBC ( has more than 114,000 employees. SBC reported 1996 revenues of $23.5 billion.