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The ANI and ALI in Emergency VoIP Phone Calls


When providing phone service to either businesses or residences, customers need to know important information regarding their ability to make emergency telephone calls. Call 48 is committed to offering our VoIP providers, resellers and wholesale agents answers to their questions about emergency information. One question asked often is this:

What is the difference between the ALI and ANI databases and how do they effect emergency VoIP call responses?

The Automatic Number Identification (ANI) is the automatic display at the PSAP of the telephone number associated with the line which called 911. Each telephone number and the physical location to which it corresponds are stored in an Automatic Location Identification (ALI) database, managed by the local exchange carrier.

Imagine you call 911 and the operator who is looking at the screen, sees the adddress of the caller and says “help is on the way.” In that 911 call, the PSAP uses the ANI to retrieve the caller’s physical address from the ALI database. Additionally, the ANI acts as a callback number should the PSAP lose its connection to the distressed caller. Both ANI and ALI are key capabilities of E911 service.

With traditional E911 service, ALI records are stored in regional ALI databases, and are usually administered by the local exchange carrier (LEC). When a phone’s location changes, the regional ALI database must be revised with new location information which can take up to 48 hours to update.

Due to the capabilities of IP phones, it can be difficult to ensure that the regional ALI is up-to-date. Whereas traditional telephone numbers are static, IP phones can be moved easily, forcing the user to notify a network administrator, who in turn must contact the LEC to update the phone’s location in the regional ALI database. Unfortunately, this process takes time to implement, and may be forgotten entirely by the user.

Additionally, IP phones can relocate to regions served by different ALI databases entirely. A VoIP service provider or enterprise would then need agreements with each LEC to update different regional ALI databases as phones move around the country.

Ultimately, it is difficult for regional ALI databases to stay current with nomadic VoIP users, and there is no guarantee that the VoIP caller’s accurate location information will be available in a crisis.

Contact Call 48 for more information about emergency calls using VoIP services and solutions. 

Emergency 911 VoIP Carrier Services

Call 48 has resellers covered in an emergency. We offer complete e911 services that are 100% compliant with FCC and CRTC and cover the entirety of the United States and Canada. Our e911 services are part of our portfolio of carrier services and solutions offered to both wholesale and reseller customers. E911 services are the functionality that allows end-users to contact emergency services, including the police, fire and hospital medical services.

How Call 48 VoIP e911 services work:

If you live in an area where E911 service is available, your telephone number and the address you have registered or will register during the sign-up process will be automatically forwarded to the most appropriate emergency dispatch center. Consequently, the emergency operators will have immediate access to the information they need send help directly to your location.

It is important to remember that the address you register with is the address that will be automatically forwarded to emergency services when you dial 911 – therefore, if you relocate either temporarily or permanently, you must update your address by clicking on the member login to any such move so that emergency services always has the correct information regarding your whereabouts.

When you are reselling V1 VoIP services and solutions, it is important to familiarize yourself with the emergency and e911 services. Contact a member of the Call 48 team to inquire about our e911 carrier services.