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Wireless E9-1-1 (E9-1-1)

When you dial 9-1-1 from your MTS Wireless phone or smartphone your call will be routed to the 9-1-1 emergency operator in your area.

No matter which type of wireless phone or smartphone you are using, calls to 9-1-1 will provide emergency operators with your wireless number and the location of the cellular tower handling your call.

If you dial 9-1-1 from a wireless phone that is A-GPS (Assisted-Global Positioning System) capable the emergency service operator will be able to better determine your approximate location.


Calls to 9-1-1 (like any calls from a wireless phone) are affected by a number of factors including whether your phone has battery power, signal strength, and visit Province Wide Enhanced 9-1-1 Service (e9-1-1) to see if this service is available in your municipality. Availability and accuracy of the location information is affected by a number of factors, including whether a call is made indoors or from a covered or underground location. You can only make 9-1-1 calls from a phone or smartphone. Use 9-1-1 only for emergency voice calls. Text messaging (SMS) to 9-1-1 is not supported and will not connect you with a 9-1-1 operator.

To be safe, when dialing 9-1-1 from a wireless phone, it is very important to follow existing cell phone safety best practices.

Cell Phone Safety

In the unfortunate event that you need to call 9-1-1, there are some very important safety tips that are worth remembering to ensure that you receive the help you need.

  • Indicate the emergency that you are calling about and the emergency services required.
  • The operator may not know your cell number or location, so please be prepared to provide both your 10-digit phone number and a detailed description of the surrounding area (e.g. street address, exit numbers, street signs, and landmarks).
  • Wait for the operator to tell you it is okay to hang up.
  • Leave your phone on so that the operator can call you back.

To ensure that you do not accidentally call 9-1-1, please do not program 9-1-1 into your phone.

Wireless devices sold by MTS are equipped for E9-1-1 services. If you purchased your device from a company or person other than MTS, that company or person may have altered the identifiers on your device (e.g., IMEI, IMSI). The identifiers may also have been altered if you used a third-party to unlock or to change the operating system on your device. In cases where your device’s identifiers have been modified, you may not be able to call 9-1-1 during an emergency, even if you are able to complete regular calls.

What happens when I dial 9-1-1 from my wireless phone?

The MTS Wireless network will route the 9-1-1 call to a 9-1-1 call centre. If a caller dials 9-1-1 where 9-1-1 service is not available, MTS Wireless subscribers will be redirected to a MTS Operator for help or in some cases will be advised by a recording that 9-1-1 is not available and may be asked to dial zero for emergency help.

What do I do if I accidentally dial 9-1-1?

You should stay on the line until the 9-1-1 operator has answered the call and indicate that the call was made by mistake and no emergency assistance is required. This prevents the 9-1-1 Operator from using valuable time and resources following up on your accidental call and subsequent hang up.

Can I send a text message to 9-1-1?

No, you cannot send text messages to 9-1-1. However, T9-1-1 (Text with 9-1-1) is a service that provides 9-1-1 call centres with the ability to communicate with a deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired person during an emergency, using wireless text messaging. Customers must register for T9-1-1 service with their wireless service provider and have an eligible wireless device. Learn more about Text with 9-1-1.

What is an A-GPS phone, and why is it so important for E9-1-1?

An Assisted-GPS (A-GPS) phone can help 9-1-1 emergency operators obtain more accurate location information of the caller. Without it the 9-1-1 operator may only know your phone number and/or the location of the nearest cellular tower.

Do I have an A-GPS Capable Phone?

Please refer to your user guide for more information on where to find GPS services on your phone.

Are there any limitations with A-GPS technology?

The A-GPS technology used to provide the additional location information of the E9-1-1 call and will depend on many factors, including but not limited to the following:

  • Type of wireless phone being used.
  • Whether the wireless phone is A-GPS capable.
  • Wireless phone location relative to building exteriors, building locations, being underground and other obstacles - such as tree foliage, etc.
  • The area that the caller is in: Suburban vs. Rural.
  • GPS satellite network availability, including line of sight and current weather conditions.
  • Cellular network availability, configuration and other network information.
  • The presence of cellular repeaters.
What if I have a wireless phone but do not subscribe to any wireless service?

You will still be able to dial 9-1-1 in an emergency situation when in a 9-1-1 calling area. It is important to remain on the line because the emergency operator will not be able to return your call. If the call is lost or dropped the Emergency call taker will not be able to phone you back. The phone must have battery power and be in a coverage area to complete a 9-1-1 call.

I have Prepaid Service, can I still reach 9-1-1?

Yes, MTS prepaid wireless phones can reach E9-1-1.

I have a Prepaid wireless phone, will I still be able to make a 9-1-1 call if I run out of minutes?

Yes. A 9-1-1 call doesn't use minutes, and you can make one even if you are out of minutes.

What happens if I need to make an emergency call while traveling outside of Manitoba?

Within Canada 9-1-1 is available wherever landline E9-11 service exists.

In the US, E-9-1-1 service may or may not be available.

When traveling (roaming) to some areas in the rest of Canada or the U.S.:

  • A 9-1-1 call may not be connected.
  • Location estimation may not work.
What happens if my call is dropped?

If the emergency operator has a valid call back number and your phone is capable of receiving calls they can call you back.

Is it necessary to test my wireless phone by calling 9-1-1 when I do not have an emergency?

No. Please do not call 9-1-1 to test the system.

How much does this service cost?

There is no charge for calls connected to 911 from a wireless device.

Where can I find additional information on Public Safety/9-1-1?

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