October 12, 2020
Member Spotlight: Meet Intrado’s Jeff Robertson .
From mobile devices to the cellular networks they run on, the wireless industry works hard to ensure that Americans can reach emergency response agencies when they need them most. We interviewed Intrado’s President of Life and Safety Jeff Robertson to see how his company helps expand the technological capabilities of users and public safety networks.
Please introduce yourself and your company, Intrado.
Jeff Robertson: My name is Jeff Robertson, and I’m President of Life and Safety at Intrado. Intrado has been involved in 9-1-1 and safety for over 40 years, and today we’re involved in pretty much all things 9-1-1. Intrado was there when the first 9-1-1 call was made using a wired phone, and we are just as integral today. Intrado is at the forefront of guiding public safety through new technologies, providing services to many different players in the wireless industry and helping connect devices to public safety networks.
How do you see public safety adapting to new wireless technology?
Jeff Robertson: Public safety doesn’t evolve as quickly as wireless technology, and it often needs help adapting and transitioning over to the newer tech. Texting 9-1-1 is a great example, as it’s something we’ve been discussing for many years. Here at Intrado we had close to 2,700 Public Safety Answering Points capable of texting through our nationwide TCC service in 2019, but there’s still some work to do there. Another area where we see changes are with smart speakers and smart, connected assistants in homes. Many people believe you can reach emergency services from these smart speakers, but in reality, that level of access and connectivity isn’t very widespread yet, which is where Intrado steps in. We’re working to find solutions that will connect these smart devices to public safety networks, increasing safety and spurring innovation along the way.
What is Intrado’s main focus when it comes to public safety?
Jeff Robertson: Our mission at Intrado is to be the bridge between technology and the public when they need help. We are constantly asking how we can use wireless technology to make communications between emergency responders and callers more efficient. We focus on location data and data that could help emergency medical responders arriving on the scene with relevant information, and we work with public safety agencies to adopt and maintain technology that can help save lives.
What is the impact of 5G and IoT on public safety?
Jeff Robertson: Many mobile devices run on wireless networks operated by CTIA members, including 5G networks, so that has introduced an area where we can work to connect devices to more emergency response services. Smart IoT devices such as smartphones and watches have a leg up when it comes to their ability to reach public safety networks, but there are other emerging devices and technologies that will take us even further. From smoke alarms that can call the fire department to vehicles that can communicate with emergency responders, Intrado is there to help bring about a safer, more connected and wireless future.
How has Intrado benefited from its membership with CTIA?
Jeff Robertson: Through CTIA, we collaborate with wireless partners on industry standards and innovate new technologies and services for our customers. We’re really proud of that role and proud to be CTIA members.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.
CTIA Member Spotlights
Hear stories from members working to build our connected mobile lives & 5G future.