NG911 and NENA: A Guide to NENA’s New i3 Standard Version for Next Generation 911

Posted in All, NGA911 on Mar 23, 2022

In late 2021, North America’s leading emergency response standards development organization approved a new version of the i3 NG9-1-1 standard. The approval signified a landmark move to accelerate the transition to a faster, smarter, and more resilient 911 infrastructure. 

Version 3 of NENA’s i3 Next Generation 911 standard includes significant updates to the NG911 system. The new version of i3 will pave the way for greater interoperability between emergency response agencies and first responders on a national level. 

At NGA, our leading Next Generation 911 providers and experts have created this guide to help emergency response organizations and personnel better understand the new version of NENA’s i3 NG911 standard and its importance. 

In this blog, we’ll cover:

  • The new version of the i3 standard for NG911  
  • Version 3 changes to i3 standard
  • NENA’s relationship to Next Generation 911
  • What NENA is 
  • NG911 and its purpose 


What is NENA’s i3 standard for Next Generation 911?

In its first version, the NG911 i3 standard created by NENA was an update designed to ensure the evolution of the 911 infrastructure to the all IP (Internet Protocol) based emergency communication systems known as Next Generation 911. 

NENA’s i3 version 1 introduced the concept of an ESInet (Emergency Services IP Network), which was designed as an inter-network that could be shared by all 911 agencies involved in an emergency. Version 1 of the i3 NG911 standard meant that PSAPs (Public Safety Answering Points) would be capable of receiving IP-based signals and multimedia delivery of emergency information. 

The first edition of the i3 NENA standard specified that 911 calls entered the ESInet using SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) signaling. The PSAPs or other emergency communication centers were selected using the ECRF (Emergency Call Routing Function), and calls were delivered to the agency with callback and location information.


Version 3 Changes to NENA’s i3 NG911 Standard

NENA’s family of Next Generation 911 standards, with i3 serving as the core standard, allows for secure, data-rich, and IP-based communications between civilians, 911 agencies, and every first responder out in the field. Version 3 of i3 will serve as the foundation of an emergency response ecosystem designed to keep up with today’s fast-paced, digital world. 

Version 3 of NENA’s i3 standard for NG911 includes:

  • New system architecture, following updated best practices for interface design
  • Cybersecurity enhancements 
  • Significant updates to call bridging 
  • Accurate discrepancy reports 
  • Outgoing 911 call interface function 
  • Blind transfer support 
  • Updates to novel calls (including non-interactive calls and advanced crashed call notifications) 

Aside from the standard updates listed above, the new version of i3 includes many NG911 infrastructure improvements and updates. 


Next Generation 911 and NENA: Understanding the Relationship 

To put it simply, NENA provides various regulations, standards, and committee support for all Next Generation 911 development. NENA’s relationship to NG911 is vital for evolving 911 systems and emergency response services. 

The Next Generation 911-based standards NENA puts in place are designed to provide tangible benefits such as automated validation processes and a significant degree of future-proofing to support non-vocal 911 communications as emergency response personnel respond to the demands of the calling public. 

NENA’s NG911 standards also offer a high-level increase of interoperability within the Next Generation 911 infrastructure regardless of distance.  


What is NENA Exactly?

NENA stands for the National Emergency Number Association. NENA is a nationally and internationally recognized organization whose purpose is to foster the technological availability, advancement, and implementation of 911 throughout the United States. 

In carrying out its mission for a better, faster, and more accessible 911 ecosystem, NENA promotes public safety planning, research, education, and training. 



Next Generation 911 standards such as version 3 of NENA’S i3 help pave the way for faster, accurate, and more resilient emergency response. 911 systems like NG911 that adhere to NENA’s standards are designed to meet high demands and keep up with evolving technology, resulting in more lives saved and improved public safety. 

As a leading provider of Next Generation 911, NGA is proud to offer 911 telecommunications solutions and services designed to support public safety personnel and agencies to make emergency communication more accessible. 


Would you like to know more about Next Generation 911? 

Connect with our NG911 experts at NGA today to get started