Advancing Towards Total Conversation: The Significance of Real-Time Text (RTT)

The European Accessibility Act (EAA 2019/882) has introduced new requirements to ensure that vital communication services, including emergency calls, remain accessible for individuals who are Deaf, DeafBlind, and Hard of Hearing. A crucial tool for achieving this goal is Real-Time Text (RTT), which is a significant stride towards Total Conversation, ensuring equitable and meaningful access to Emergency Services for all users.

Total Conversation embodies the idea that multiple communication modalities- voice, text, and video – can seamlessly coexist within a single conversation. The primary aim is to provide meaningful accessibility and inclusion, particularly for the Deaf, DeafBlind, and Hard of Hearing communities.

A key component of Total Conversation is RTT, a technology enabling the real-time exchange of text messages. That is, text is transmitted as it is typed, ensuring that messages are accessible in real-time during telephone calls for both parties. RTT has undergone rigorous testing in various networks, it is well-established though standardization and documentation, and is prepared for implementation and adaptation in existing infrastructure. Standardized RTT is fully compatible with SIP (Session Initiation Protocol), the same standards utilized for VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol). Consequently, standardized RTT can be seamlessly integrated into current infrastructure without disrupting ongoing services.

Additionally, the EAA, in conjunction with the European Electronic Communication Code (EECC 2018/1972), and its Delegated Regulation (2023/444) requires that operators providing voice services must offer RTT at the latest June 2025 across the European Union and European Economic Area. The legislation also stipulates that if an Emergency Service supports video calls, Total Conversation must also be available.

The adoption of RTT, and in the long run, Total Conversation is not only important to adhere to current regulations, but also to ensure meaningful accessibility for all citizens. This includes individuals within the Deaf, DeafBlind, and Hard of Hearing communities.

If you would like to know more about nWise RTT Bridge, our solution for efficient and seamless integration of RTT into existing infrastructure, please click on the button below. Feel free to reach out to us for further information.