Performance testing for VoIP emergency services
A case study of the EMYNOS platform and a reflection on potential Blockchain utilisation for NG112 emergency communication
VoIP-based emergency communication is a promising approach to improving the safety of citizens worldwide. The transition required in this scope includes substituting the legacy PSTN/SS7 based emergency call system by Next Generation IP based components for call establishment and control. Thereby, SIP is used as a session control protocol and RTP as the means to transfer emergency data between the caller and the corresponding Public Safety Access Point (PSAP). The emergency data is not only restricted to voice communication but can cover a rich variety of data, which can be acquired by different means (including the end-user devices) and transmitted over IP. This includes video, geo-positioning data, voice, Real-Time Text, and sensor data in line with emerging IoT architectures and approaches. A vital aspect in this scope is given by the performance of the underlying network, including its capability to establish calls in emergencies and to transfer the data required for serving the situation. Therefore, in this paper, we evaluate the computational performance of the most recent VoIP emergency system implementation, which was developed by the H2020-EMYNOS project as a realisation of the EENA NG112 Long Term Definition (LTD) vision. We perform a series of trials and evaluate the performance of the EMYNOS system in a multi-party lab environment established during the project. We evaluate the time needed to perform basic emergency call operations over IP, whilst in parallel generating Internet type of background traffic. Correspondingly, we worked out a methodology and implemented it in our testbed, both of which are presented in the current paper. The obtained numerical results lea to the conclusion that SIP-based emergency services stand a good chance to replace legacy systems when it comes to their performance. Additionally, we also provide a perspective on how the blockchain technology could potentially be put to use to enhance the quality of the next-generation emergency services. We propose the utilisation of blockchain technology for tracking emergency calls and enabling efficient recognition of fraud calls, which is a critical aspect for PSAP providers concerning the potential denial of service attacks. In this context, we provide evaluations and numerical results based on a private Ethereum based blockchain playground running at the premises of Fraunhofer FOKUS.