Category: Wireless 911 Location


Category: Wireless 911 Location
West Corporation

Posted on May 12, 2015 by West Corporation 


New Advancements in Wireless Location Accuracy

PSAPs have good reason to be concerned about wireless indoor location accuracy. We believe a physical address – not just an X/Y coordinate – is the gold standard for public safety. In addition, our research shows that current solutions like reverse geo-coding provide an incorrect address in approximately 15% of all 9-1-1 calls.

New advancements in Wireless Location Accuracy provide cost-effective strategies utilizing available technologies that can help carriers provide a dispatchable address to PSAPs.

Residential Femtocells
Some carriers now deploy femtocells nationwide; passing the physical address of the subscriber with coverage of 150 meters. When their “personal cell site” is installed, the residential subscriber provides a dispatchable location. GPS data in the femotcell–in real time–provides geo-validation of the address and can detect femtocell movement. This dispatchable location and the X/Y location of the femtocell or handset is delivered to the PSAP and displayed on the call taker’s console without any changes.

Enterprise Femtocells
Enterprise femtocells often cover definable indoor spaces such as offices and public structures. They are installed by a carrier or the enterprise and can provide a level of accuracy comparable to wireline with a dispatchable address. Devices with GPS can be used to reliably validate the address.

Geo-Relevant Wireless ALI
Using existing technology, geo-relevant wireless ALI provides a dispatchable location associated with the emergency caller. The ALI address data is collected from multiple sources including a user-provided address, public records databases and, potentially, a billing address.

For example, if a caller provides their home address, and the X/Y location shows the call is originating near the residence, it’s very likely that the call is being made from within the residence. In this example, the absence of any GPS coordinates would make it even more likely that a call is originating from inside the residence.

Even an associated address nearby (of a relative or a previously provided address) has extreme value to PSAPs as it provides them with a starting point of investigation. Initial testing indicates that 15-30% of all wireless 9-1-1 calls using this solution can deliver a dispatchable location.

Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) Beacons and WiFi
BLE and WiFi radios exist in most new smartphones, so this is a low cost solution and ideal for residential applications. Dedicated 9-1-1 beacons can provide highly accurate and manageable dispatchable locations. An attractive feature of this option is that BLE beacon or WiFi addresses can be stored in the National Emergency Address Database (NEAD) and passed to the PSAP at the time of the call.

Handset Assisted Indoor Location – Location Fusion 
We are excited about a development in wireless 9-1-1 that would be forward-compatible with any new smart device enhancements. Intrado is now testing the ability of smartphones to sense satellite signals along with nearby WiFi access points and BLE beacon locations to narrow the location for callers using enabled devices. This solution blends location technologies (such as commercial location detection used by retail stores) in a secure, always-on mode. Implementation of this technology could potentially support VoIP, Voice over Wireless LAN, VoLTE, and CDMA/UMTS voice.

There isn’t currently a single, standalone technology that meets all of the requirements of the new FCC rules. The future of location accuracy depends on the convergence of a several technologies working in tandem to deliver a physical address.

To learn more about the FCC’s ruling and the technologies outlined here, view our recent Wireless Location Accuracy webinar here.

West Corporation

Posted on April 29, 2015 by West Corporation 


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.


West Corporation

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