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Telia Norway sharpens precision in SAR operations with Subtonomy REX

Subtonomy’s REX solution enables Telia Norway to create better outdoor life through aiding

Search and Rescue (SAR) missions with fast and accurate location data. 

Jan, 2024

In the vast and rugged terrain of Norway, where every second counts when it comes to Search and Rescue (SAR) missions, Telia is able to supply SAR teams with rapid, accurate geolocation capabilities thanks to the power of its extensive mobile network and use of Subtonomy’s innovative REX solution. This dynamic combination has reduced search areas from kilometers to meters, transformed SAR response times from 15 hours to less than two hours — saving lives with speed and precision.

When the main rescue center receives a notification, such as a missing skier in the mountains, they assess whether there's a risk to life and health, and subsequently, whether it's possible to trace the missing person's mobile phone. In such situations, Telia provides assistance by tracking the phone of the missing individual.


The challenge for many MNOs is to consolidate the all too often fragmented data and push through bottlenecks created by outdated systems and silos that limit the ability to efficiently and urgently manage SAR emergency requests. They must also ensure compliance with the constantly evolving legislation.  

This was also the case for Telia not too long ago.

Being able to respond to Search and Rescue (SAR) Requests fast and with accurate mobile geolocation data can mean the difference between life and death. 

About Telia Norway

Telia Norway is a nationwide Norwegian mobile operator with more than 2.4M subscribers. It is part of Telia Group, today serving 27M subscriptions in the Nordic and Baltic region.

Norway's landscape is demanding, featuring extensive, dense forests, imposing mountains, deep fjords, and a lengthy, wind-battered coastline, all of which require advanced skills and readiness for effective emergency operations. This makes outdoor activities in Norway both alluring and dangerous, with 4,798 SAR missions performed in 2021.

Terje Lilleåsen

When Telia’s team receives a request for help they immediately spring into action, checking the status and activity of the individual’s phone, as well as which cell tower it’s connected to using advanced triangulation methods.  

Key to their success, Telia Norway has integrated Subtonomy REX into their operations for enhanced geolocation and data retrieval. The recent inclusion of location polygons within the REX platform, a shift from their prior separate handling, has significantly improved their operational efficiency.

How Telia helps SARteams save lives faster

 “Nothing beats the feeling you get when the rescue team reaches a missing person, and you know that the person will be okay.” 

Terje Lilleåsen, Telia Norway

"Many have surely seen CSI or other series where triangulation is done with the press of two buttons. In reality, it's not that simple, and one must have a good technical understanding, proper support tools, and a robust mobile network to achieve triangulation."

TERJE LILLEÅSEN |  Senior Manager, Service Operations Center @ Telia Norge

Leveraging the capabilities of Telia's 5G network in combination with REX's new location features, search areas have been dramatically narrowed from several square kilometers  down to one hundred meters –  making SAR operations vastly more efficient.

For even greater accuracy, a rescue helicopter can be deployed with a temporary base station. As it nears the person needing to be rescued, their phone will connect to the base station and by monitoring the signal as the helicopter flies in circles, the phone can be pinpointed to within 20 meters.

Investing in advanced good tools and proper expertise organization is cited as the reason why Telia has taken leaps and bounds in this work. A SAR mission can today usually be completed in one to two hours.

Erica Earnshaw and Terje Lilleåsen

Telia Norway

"We are constantly improving our process, tools and competence, to be able to save lives even quicker."

TERJE LILLEÅSEN |  Senior Manager, Service Operations Center @ Telia Norge

Watch how Telia Norway uses Subtonomy REX in SAR operations 

Let’s talk about Numbers:

30 sec

results delivered within
30 seconds

20 m

phone can be pinpointed to
within 20 meters


faster SAR missions

1 tool

Streamlined workflow in ONE

consolidated system


Telia Norway uses Subtonomy REX to deliver its world-class response to SAR emergency requests. The data is collected by Subtonomy’s platform from probes, TAP files, IP databases, location data, network elements and underlying subsystems (such as billing, CRM etc), and preprocessed to make it easier to respond to requests in a timely and efficient manner. The information provided can be displayed in Subtonomy REX or exported to other solutions to help with efficient collaboration.


REX is designed to handle geolocation and data retrieval requests while being fully GDPR compliant and ISO/IEC 27001 certified. While data retention solutions are usually storage heavy, Subtonomy REX also significantly reduces the amount of data storage required.

  • Results within 30 seconds

  • Instant delivery to requester

  • Streamlined workflow in ONE consolidated system

  • Accurate, error-free results 

  • Secure remote access for SAR teams

  • Self-contained installation or Subtonomy supported or anything in between

  • Efficient data storage

  • SaaS solution – continuously adding new technologies and features as seen in this case study

  • Expert advice and back up


With over 12 years’ experience in assisting telecoms operators comply with their duty to supply data to lawful authorities, Subtonomy is an expert in helping consolidate data into a single system to reduce costs, speed data retrieval, and eliminate human error.

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