Frequently asked questions about the 112 Suomi application


 



Basic information

112 Suomi application

What is the 112 Suomi application?

112 Suomi is a mobile application for emergency positioning developed and owned by Digia. The application has been produced in cooperation with the Emergency Response Centre Administration who recommends downloading the application. The application can be downloaded for free from application stores for Windows, Android, iPhone and Jolla phones.


How does the 112 Suomi application function?

The 112 Suomi application locates a caller using satellite-based geolocation. With the help of an interface constructed in the Emergency Response Centre Administration's systems, the location is transmitted automatically to an Emergency Response Centre worker when an emergency call is made through the application.


What benefits does the application offer?

The key benefit is that aid is provided more rapidly in an emergency situation.

  • The exact location of a caller is automatically transmitted to the Emergency Response Centre which means that the processing of emergency calls becomes faster.
  • Assistance can be sent to the site from the closest available unit.
  • Assistance will arrive more quickly as the exact location is known.

Other benefits:

  • With the help of the application an emergency call can be made, for example, by children or by persons who are not able to describe their location verbally on the phone due to injury or another problem.
  • The application offers location coordinates reliably in a format consistent with the Emergency Response Centre Administration's systems. If the location information is not transmitted automatically, you can read the coordinates from the application’s screen. You can also check the coordinates in the case of a non-acute emergency.
  • The application offers also contact information to other on-call services.

What can I do with the application?

You can make an emergency call through the application so that your location is transferred automatically to the Emergency Response Centre. In the case of a non-urgent emergency, you can call various other on-call services through the application. You can also check your coordinates at any time with the help of the application.


Why does the application also contain other contact information in addition to the emergency number? Which contact information is available in the application?

The application contains contact information for the Public Service Info, the Child and Youth Phone, the Maritime Search and Rescue services, and the Poison Information Centre. The objective for offering on-call service numbers for the non-urgent need for assistance is to meet the citizens' need for information and reduce the number of unnecessary emergency calls.


Deployment

How can I download the application onto my phone and start to use it?

You can download the application for free from app stores for Android-, iPhone-, Windows- and Jolla -devices.

Familiarise yourself with the application in advance and set its icon in the phone's start view so that it is easy to use.

When you start the application for the first time, you must enter your phone number in it. When you open the application later, you can go directly to the screen from where you can make an emergency call by tapping the Call 112 button. Therefore, it is recommended that you open the application as soon as you have downloaded it, and that you enter your phone number in the application so that it is ready to be used in case of an emergency.


Does the application function everywhere in Finland?

The application functions everywhere in Finland and can also be used for emergency calls made from other countries in border areas. Like any other emergency call, the call is routed to an emergency response centre in the country in question according to the base station provided by the phone’s mobile network at the time when the call is made.


Does the 112 application also function in Åland?

An emergency call made in Åland via the application is connected to Åland’s own Emergency Response Centre. In that event, the coordinates will not be automatically transmitted to the Emergency Response Centre, but you can still read them from the phone screen during the emergency call.


Does the 112 application also function abroad?

You can also make emergency calls via the application elsewhere in the European Union with the same emergency number 112. In that event, the location information will not be transmitted to the emergency response centre. The operating area of the Emergency Response Centre Administration is limited to continental Finland. In an emergency, the country of location provides help according to its own operating principles.

The application cannot be used to make emergency calls outside the EU, unless the telecommunications settings in the country in question direct any calls made to 112 to the local emergency call queue. You can still use the application anywhere to check the coordinates manually. However, you should note that a different coordinate format may be used in the emergency response centres in other countries.

If you have to make an emergency call abroad and you check your coordinates from the 112 Suomi application, remember to inform the local operator on duty that the coordinates are in the WGS84 format that is used in Finland (DD°MM.mm’).


Is there a charge for the application?

The 112 Suomi application is free of charge.


Why am I charged for the application when attempting to download it?

The 112 Suomi application is free of charge. The application you are trying to download is thus probably a different application. You may find applications that have not been developed together with the Emergency Response Centre Administration and are not connected to their systems when searching for "112" at an application store. Attempt to perform the search again using the words "112 Suomi".


Which phones support the application?

The application is supported on the following device platforms: Android (4.0 and newer), iPhone (all versions), Windows Phone (8.1 and newer) and Jolla phones. You can easily check this; if the application can be found in an application store, you can download it and it will work on your phone.


Why does the application's installation require having a user ID to an application store?

By default, the phones do not allow you to install applications from unofficial application stores. Unofficial publication locations may be used, but for reliability and automatic updates, our wish is to focus the distribution only on official, reliable distribution channels.


Can a visitor use the application in Finland?

A visitor can use the application in Finland by downloading it onto a mobile phone as usual. In such a case the telephone number must be entered in the international format (a plus sign and a country code before the phone number).


What should I do if I change a phone or a phone number? Will the application function on my new mobile phone?

When you have a new phone, you must install and initialise the application again. Similarly, when you have a new telephone subscription, you must update your telephone number in the application so that the location can be associated with the correct emergency call in case of an emergency.


Privacy and information security

How will the application affect my privacy?

The application will transmit your location to the Emergency Response Center during an emergency call. The application does not transmit any other information.


Is my location available to the Emergency Response Centre Administration or another authority when I download the application on my phone?

The phone will send location information only when the user permits it, ergo starts the application and makes an emergency call. The Emergency Response Centre Administration only uses the location in order to locate the emergency caller.


What information will be transmitted about me when I use the application? Is any information saved?

The application will only send your location to the Emergency Response Centre worker. No other information is transmitted through the application.

The application will send a positioning signal for 60 minutes from the start of a phone call, and it will be stored on a proxy server for 24 hours. This means that the location info of an earlier call can be retrieved for a new call based on the phone number if, for example, you have to make another call to the emergency centre about the same emergency and the data connection is not available.


Why do I need to enter my phone number? Will any other information related to the number be transmitted?

A telephone number is required so that the location can be associated with the correct emergency call in case of an emergency.

The number will not be used to retrieve any personal information or to transmit any other information; the Emergency Response Centre worker can only see the number from which the call is made and the location.


Why does the application want access to my profile information, image files and contact information?

The application requires your phone's number and will attempt to find it from your public information, such as your Google account on Android phones. The application only asks the user's phone number if it cannot be found from other sources. Requesting the right to access your image files, for instance, is connected to how application stores group various access rights in a way that may put image files in the same category as some other information. However, the application only uses these rights for searching for the phone number.


Is it certain that the application is also secure from the point of view of data security authorities?

Matters related to the data security of the application have also been reviewed with the Finnish Communication Regulatory Authority.


Other use-related questions

Which languages is the application available in?

The application is available in Finnish, Swedish and English. The language can be changed in the application settings.


Can I still use the Smart Locator service?

Before the 112 Suomi application was introduced, the Emergency Response Centres also used the Smart Locator service. The Emergency Response Centre Administration has decided to continue using this service alongside the 112 Suomi application. The service makes it possible to locate smartphones that do not have the application installed. A video guide to using the service: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RSmvwTIEjjk&feature=youtu.be


Can I still use the Map coordinates service of the Emergency Response Centre Administration?

The Map coordinates service at the website of the Emergency Response Centre Administration ended on 31 December 2015. At the website of the Emergency Response Centre Administration you can still find location information forms in which you can write down the map coordinates of locations such as your summer cottage.


Can I use the application if I do not have a connection to the data network? What if the data network connection becomes weak or is lost when I am in a forest, for example?

The application can be used even though there is no mobile data connection available. The automatic transfer of a location requires a network connection but a satellite-based geolocation does not. You can call the emergency number as usual and tell the Emergency Response Centre worker your location by reading the coordinates from the 112 Suomi application's view. In other words, the application will report your location in a reliable manner even when the location is not transmitted automatically. In that case, it is also important to tell the Emergency Response Centre operator about the positioning accuracy. You can see it in the application directly below the coordinates.


Is it enough that the application has been downloaded onto a mobile phone? Is it operational all the time?

The application is not operational all the time. You must start the application from the start icon and make an emergency call by tapping the Call 112 button so that sending the location is activated. The application uses the satellite connection and the battery only when it is in operation.


Why does the application function only when an emergency call is made through the application?

The application does not know when a call made to the emergency number starts or ends. This is because, for technical reasons, device platforms do not allow an application to be connected to the phone call interface. In other words, you must tell the application about the emergency call by starting the application and making the call through it.


Why isn't the application turned on automatically when I call the emergency number?

This functionality would require monitoring the user's call information, which has been blocked entirely on most phone platforms for security reasons. Additionally, the emergency call functionality is a special function of the phone and some phones may limit the operation of the applications during emergency calls. For this reason, it is important for the application to obtain the location information even before the emergency call has started.


Will the positioning function if my phone is turned off and I call the emergency number?

Location information will not be transmitted if the call is not made through the 112 Suomi application.


How does the application work if the phone network is down due to a storm, for example?

In Finland, emergency calls are transmitted to the emergency number 112 via any of the functioning mobile networks. Therefore, if the phone network of your own service provider is not available, the emergency call is connected to the Emergency Response Centre via the network of a different operator. In that event, the packet data service is not available and the location information will not be automatically transmitted to the Emergency Response Centre. If this happens, you should read the coordinates of your location from the phone screen out loud.

If all phone networks are down at the same time, it is not possible to make an emergency call with mobile devices. However, such situations are extremely rare.


What if my child plays with the phone and calls the emergency number by accident?

Children should not be allowed to play with functional mobile phones. If an emergency call is made by accident, the Emergency Response Centre worker will handle the call as instructed.


Is it possible that when I download the application onto my phone viruses, malware or some other harmful content is also downloaded?

The application is downloaded onto a phone through official device-specific distribution channels so the risk of malware or a virus infection is no greater than when other applications are downloaded. The risk of an infection is very unlikely.


I called the emergency number and the positioning was not successful/the application did not function. What could be the reason? Who can I contact regarding the matter?

If the automatic transfer of location does not function, the most likely reason is that your phone does not have a satellite connection or a data connection. If the 112 Suomi application will not start at all you can send feedback by email to 112suomi@digia.com


What if I make a regular emergency call and in the middle of the call I remember that I have 112 Suomi application on my phone?

The application can be started in the middle of a phone call. You can send the location by tapping the 112 button. (Note: on iPhone the application starts a new emergency call which must be cut off before it is answered.)


Why does the application not start the call directly when I tap the "Call 112" button?

There are device-specific differences in the application's operation. In an iPhone the call starts directly. The direct call operation is prevented by a device-specific implementation of the phone call interface on Android and Windows Phone platforms. When the Call button is tapped the phone's own phone call view opens from which the call must be started.


Can I use the application on a tablet?

The application can be used on a tablet. You can check the coordinates of your location with the help of the application. If the device has a SIM card, you can also make a phone call. You cannot make calls routed via an IP network with the application, since the Emergency Response Centre cannot receive such calls.


How does the positioning work?

The positioning functions with the help of a smartphone's own satellite-based geolocation operation.


Does the application require GPS?

The application needs GPS for determining a specific location. Without the satellite-based geolocation the positioning accuracy of your location is considerably weaker, as the location is specified based on the base stations of the mobile network. It should be noted that GPS has a higher battery usage than regular operation.


Why does the application use and monitor location information even when it's in the background? This means that the application uses battery since it keeps retrieving location information all the time.

The main purpose of the application is to transmit the caller's location information to the Emergency Response Centre in connection with an emergency call. In that situation, up-to-date location information is extremely important, and this means that the GPS function that uses the battery must be kept on. In the first version of the application, the location information update remained on even when there was no call to the emergency number, if the user forgot to close the application after use. In the current version, the application turns off the GPS function when it goes into the background unless an emergency call is ongoing.


Why cannot the application turn the phone's GPS on automatically when it is initialized?

Many phone platforms block applications from using the function that turns the GPS on automatically. Unfortunately the application will only operate within the limits set by the platform. In these situations, however, the application will offer the user a short-cut to the correct location from the phone settings, so that the user does not need to search for the setting that turns the GPS on in the middle of an emergency.

The application does not need your location in order to make an emergency call; in other words, the call is always connected regardless of whether your location is available or not.

If the application is able to determine your location only after the phone call has been started (for example, if you move outside in the middle of the call), the information is transmitted automatically to the Emergency Response Centre worker.


Why have there been occasional delays in the delivery of location information?

The single most common reason for delays is probably the lack of data connection. Additionally the phones, depending on the model, prioritize the process of delivering spoken to ensure the certainty of the operations of the phone itself. This prioritization is detrimental to the other processes, meaning that data connections are often "spotty", particularly when the call is being initialized, and the application will send the location information only after the data connection has returned.

The user might see the data connection being on even when the connection has been interrupted for a short time on the background. The speed of the delivery of location information is affected by the type of data connection used by phone's model (its amount of central memory and processor power) and other open applications. In our tests, location information was generally relayed with a few seconds' delay. If there are problems in the relaying of the location information, you may dictate the coordinates vocally on the application's display screen.


Will the application work if my phone has a dual interface (a so-called "dual SIM")?

Yes, but the location information delivered to the Emergency Response Centre Administration may be sent from a different phone number than the one you are calling from. In this case, dictate your location coordinates to the emergency dispatcher vocally.


How accurate is the positioning? Why does the accuracy of the positioning vary?

The median of positioning accuracy has so far been 11 metres. The positioning accuracy varies depending on the phone and the environment. High buildings and terrain formations make both satellite positioning as well as positioning based on the mobile network base stations more difficult.


Is there a way to discover the positioning accuracy? Where can I check it?

You can see the positioning accuracy in the application directly below the coordinate information. If your application screen does not display the positioning accuracy, update the application to the latest version. The positioning accuracy display is included in version 1.1 and later. You can check the version you have on your phone by going to the application settings and selecting information about the application.


Can I do anything to influence the positioning accuracy?

Satellite positioning functions best outside in areas that are as high and open as possible. Indoors, you can improve the positioning accuracy significantly by moving towards windows or going completely outside the building. Outside, you should move to higher or more open places, if possible.


Why is it possible to install an application developed for making a phone call on a tablet, too?

The application can also be used on a tablet: You can check the coordinates of your location with the help of the application. This may be useful, if you have to call the Emergency Response Centre with a phone that does not have the 112 Suomi application, or if you wish to check your location coordinates and put them on display at your summer cottage, for example. If your device has a SIM card and you can make phone calls with your tablet, you can also use it for making an emergency call.


What kind of usability improvements does the new version of the application have?

Several user interface improvements have been made to the application to make using it easier. For example, the font sizes have been increased, and the information has been grouped more clearly so as to improve usability.

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