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Posted on April 29, 2015 by West Corporation 


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10 Things You Need to Know about the FCC Wireless Location Accuracy Ruling

Earlier this month, I spoke at a webinar, Two Steps Forward, Two Steps Forward: Advancements in Wireless Location Accuracy. If you missed the live broadcast, we discussed the FCC’s new Fourth Report and Order concerning wireless E9-1-1 location accuracy, and provided an overview of current and emerging solutions to help carriers comply with the new regulations in a cost-effective way. Here are 10 things you should know about the new regulations:

    1. The ruling introduces the concept of “dispatchable location” as the gold standard for public safety while also setting forth improved horizontal location requirements.
      • 40% of all wireless 9-1-1 calls within 2 years
      • 50% of all wireless 9-1-1 calls within 3 years
      • 70% of all wireless 9-1-1 calls within 5 years
      • 80% of all wireless 9-1-1 calls within 6 years
    2. Non-nationwide carriers receive extensions to the 5-year and 6-year deadlines mentioned above (by 6 months and 1 year, respectively) based upon the timing of VoLTE deployment in their networks.
    3. Within 3 years, all carriers must deliver uncompensated barometric pressure data (for calls originating from capable devices).
    4. Carriers must develop a Z-axis solution within 6 years. Both uncompensated barometric pressure data and Z-axis data are somewhat controversial given that an altitude coordinate without a fixed starting point (such as sea level) may not be of practical use for most PSAPs. Non-nationwide carriers have an additional year to meet these requirements.
    5. Performance of location accuracy will be measured based on live 9-1-1 call data.
    6. Carriers serving any portion of a test city (San Francisco, Chicago, Atlanta, Denver/Front Range, Philadelphia, and Manhattan Borough) have 18 months, after March 2015, to report aggregate data of the location technology used.
    7. The ruling establishes the National Emergency Address Database (NEAD), a centralized database for wireless carriers.
    8. Carriers are required to provide a location within 30 seconds, as well as meet a confidence level of 90% for E9-1-1 calls.
    9. These new FCC requirements do not replace existing Phase II mandates concerning outdoor calls.

The positive news for carriers is that it is possible to provide a dispatchable location in a cost-effective way.

In Wireless Location Accuracy Blog – Part 2, we’ll take a closer look at WiFi, Bluetooth low energy (BLE) beacons, small cells and other promising technologies that we think will help wireless carriers precisely locate their indoor wireless subscribers in an emergency.

For more detail on the FCC requirements and the technologies that support location accuracy, click here to view the recorded webinar.



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