CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — AT&T’s new 911 service, “Locate Before Route,” is now available in West Virginia.

The upgrade makes it easier for emergency services to find and send help to wireless 911 callers. The technology uses GPS and hybrid information to give a more accurate location of people who call 911 on their cell phones. The data also directs a person’s mobile call to the nearest emergency dispatch center.

Prior to this launch, mobile 911 calls were routed solely based on cell tower location. According to AT&T, “Locate Before Route” can narrow a device’s location down to a 50-meter radius, whereas cell towers leave a device’s location up to a broader 10-mile radius.

(Photo courtesy of AT&T)

AT&T says its new service is especially important because about 80% of 911 calls today are made from mobile devices.

“When seconds matter, this helps narrow down location of a wireless caller from several miles to half a city block. It has the potential impact to save lives.”


AT&T says it is the first and only provider of location-based routing for mobile 911 calls. “Locate Before Route” will work automatically for anyone using the AT&T network, including Cricket Wireless customers.