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Program Info
Using WPS
First Time Requestor
Established POC
Contact Us
NCS Website


Program Information

Service Description
Making WPS Calls
Service Requests
For More Information


Wireless Priority Service (WPS) is a priority calling capability that greatly increases the probability of call completion during a national security and emergency preparedness (NS/EP) event while using their cellular phone. To make a WPS call, the user must first have the WPS feature added to their cellular service. Once established, the caller can dial 272 plus the destination telephone number to place an emergency wireless call.

WPS and its companion priority service, the Government Emergency Telecommunications Service (GETS), are requested through a secure on-line system. Before service can be requested, participating organizations must establish a Point of Contact (POC) account. The GETS/WPS POC serves as each organization’s program administrator. Once an organization has an established POC, they can request GETS and WPS. The NCS recommends that each WPS user also have a GETS card.



The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued a Report and Order on July 13, 2000 allowing cellular providers to offer wireless priority services to personnel at the Federal, State, and local levels to help meet the NS/EP communication needs of the Nation. This ruling established the regulatory, administrative, and operational framework that enables cellular service providers to provide Wireless Priority Service to NS/EP personnel.


Service Description

WPS is an add-on feature subscribed on a per-cell phone basis that works with existing cell phones in WPS enabled cellular networks; no special phones are required. WPS provides priority for emergency calls through a combination of special cellular network features and the same “High Probability of Completion” features used by GETS:

  • Originating Radio Channel Priority: WPS addresses congestion in the local radio access channel (or cell), which is often the reason that cellular calls cannot be made during heavy calling periods or when damage to network infrastructure occurs. WPS automatically provides priority access to local radio channels, placing WPS calls in queue for the next available channel if a channel is not immediately available. Originating Radio Channel Priority requires WPS feature activation on the calling cellular phone. WPS calls do not preempt calls in progress nor will WPS users monopolize all available cellular resources.

  • High Probability of Completion Features: When a radio access channel becomes available and the call proceeds, WPS calls are assigned a unique “NS/EP” call marking by the cellular network switching equipment. This marking triggers industry standard High Probability of Completion (HPC) features residing in most U.S. telecommunications networks as calls are routed from the originating cell to the called cellular or landline phone. These HPC features significantly increase the probability of call completion should the call encounter network congestion or blockage beyond the originating cell. Thus, WPS calls receive similar “across the network” priority as GETS calls without having to dial the GETS access number and PIN.

  • Terminating Radio Channel Priority: Incoming WPS (and GETS) calls to cell phones served by WPS enabled cellular networks automatically receive priority access to local radio channels, placing incoming GETS and WPS calls in queue for the next available channel if a channel is not immediately available. Terminating Radio Channel Priority does NOT require the called cellular phone to be subscribed to WPS. Incoming GETS and WPS calls do not preempt cellular calls in progress nor will they monopolize all available cellular resources.

WPS Operability Graphic
(click image above for a larger view)


Making WPS Calls

When an NS/EP user encounters difficulty completing an emergency call using their cell phone, they should re-attempt the call using WPS. To make a WPS call dial *272 + Destination Number and push the SEND key (Example: *272 703 818 4387 + SEND).



Key Federal, State, local, and tribal government, and critical infrastructure personnel are eligible for Wireless Priority Service. As part of the on-line WPS Service Request, participating organizations qualify eligibility of each WPS user based upon five categories of WPS NS/EP criteria established by the NCS:

  • Executive Leadership and Policy Makers
  • Disaster Response/Military Command and Control
  • Public Health, Safety and Law Enforcement Command
  • Public Services/Utilities and Public Welfare
  • Disaster Recovery

To ensure communications for senior leadership, these five categories are also used to assign levels of priority when WPS calls are placed in an originating radio channel queue. All WPS and GETS calls have the same priority across the network and in the terminating radio channel queue.



Service providers typically deploy WPS in stages until service is available in most coverage areas and functionality has reached Full Operational Capability (FOC). Select the Carriers button on the left side menu to view WPS availability for each WPS carrier.

The POC should verify WPS availability in each user’s operational area(s) by reviewing the Carriers section on this site to assure coverage in the user’s primary operational location(s). Carrier representatives cannot process requests for WPS; all WPS service requests must be made through the NCS.



The following charges may apply to Wireless Priority Service:

  • A one time WPS activation cost of no more than $10 per phone
  • Monthly WPS service cost of no more than $4.50 per phone
  • When WPS is invoked by dialing 272, no more than a 75 cents per minute usage fee

Please contact your wireless service provider or select a service provider in the Carriers section for specific information on WPS charges. Applicable WPS charges are billed on the existing cellular service provider invoice and are payable directly to the cellular service provider.


Service Requests

WPS is requested through the on-line GETS-WPS Information Delivery Service (G-WIDS). Before requests can be submitted each organization needs to establish a G-WIDS Point of Contact (POC). Most organizations have a single POC (and Alternate POC) for administering both GETS and WPS. However, large or geographically disbursed organizations may elect to establish separate POCs to administer GETS and WPS for different departments and/or locations.

  • If you already know your organization’s POC, please contact them to request WPS.
  • If you are not sure if your organization has a POC or who your POC is, click on Assistance Locating a Point of Contact (POC), type in the requested information in the spaces provided, and click the Submit button. The Priority Telecommunications Service Center will contact you within five business days.
  • For those organizations without a POC, they will need to establish a POC to administer GETS and WPS.

To establish a POC:

  1. Select First Time Requestor (on the left side menu)
  2. Click the appropriate organization type in the menu and a stepwise instruction screen will appear:
        a. Follow the described steps - completing the POC request takes less than 15 minutes.
        b. As part of the POC requests process, the POC orders GETS or GETS and WPS for         themselves. Select the desired option in Request Option field on the upper left side of the         POC Request Screen.
        c. The POC will receive their G-WIDS User ID and password in 5 to 7 days; their GETS card
            will be sent U.S. Mail within 10 days. They will receive email notification of service activation
            if WPS is requested.
  3. After submitting the POC Request the POC may Logoff or select Next Transaction. Selecting Next Transaction brings up the Alternate POC Request screen. Complete this screen to establish an Alternate POC and request GETS or GETS and WPS for the Alternate POC. To bypass this step click the Establish Alternate POC Later Box in the upper left corner of the Alternate POC Request and then click the Submit bar at the bottom of the screen.
  4. After submitting the Alternate POC Request Form the POC may Logoff or select Next Transaction:
        a. To make immediate GETS and WPS services requests select Next Transaction and the          Service Request screen will appear. Select the desired services in Request Option field on          the upper left side of the screen and complete the Service Request.
        b. After logging off the POC will not be able to request services until they receive their User ID         and GETS card.

Once an organization has an established POC they can request GETS and/or WPS. To do so the POC selects Established POC on the left side menu of the GETS or WPS website, logs into G-WIDS with their User ID and password, and requests GETS and/or WPS by completing an on-line GETS/WPS service request. Upon NCS approval and activation by the cellular service provider, an email is sent to the POC and user advising that WPS has been activated. For GETS, cards and user instructions are mailed to the POC for distribution.


For More Information

Additional information on Wireless Priority Service can be viewed by selecting the buttons on the left-side menu:

  • Home: return to WPS Home Page
  • Program Info: section you are currently viewing
  • Eligibility: view full text of the five NCS WPS eligibility criteria
  • Carriers: provides WPS information applicable to each WPS service provider
  • Cost: describes costs associated with WPS
  • Using WPS: provides instructions for using WPS
  • First Time Requestor: select this button and click on the appropriate organization type to view stepwise instructions for establishing a GETS/WPS Point of Contact.
  • Established POC: click to access G-WIDS once POC or Alternate POC is established (GETS IC WEB SITE – LOGIN PAGE, requires User ID and password to login)
  • Documents: click to view listing of WPS documents and videos available for download
  • FAQ: click to view WPS Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact Us: click to view NCS contact information or send an email to the NCS
  • NCS Website: click to view NCS Home Page. Select Services in the left side menu to view all NCS Services

For assistance and information on all NCS Priority Telecommunications programs contact the Priority Telecommunications Service Center toll free at 866-627-2255 (DC metro area, please use 703-760-2255) or



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