Spirent Communications has announced major enhancements that will help improve location accuracy for E911 calls indoors. The additional test capabilities on Spirent’s 8100 Location Technology Solution (LTS) enable operators to deliver optimal location performance to support VoLTE E911 calling and to understand how LTE positioning technologies such as OTDOA can help meet the recently proposed Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations for E911 indoors.
LTE brings a promise of improved location accuracy with new positioning technologies and their integration using hybrid techniques. Although established technologies such as A-GNSS (A-GPS and A-GLONASS) provides excellent performance in environments with a clear view of the sky, performance is often poor indoors, where detection of satellite signals is limited. In LTE, current standards support Observed Time Difference of Arrival (OTDOA), an advanced cellular positioning technology that can augment A-GNSS and provide a more accurate location fix for indoor scenarios.
With large-scale VoLTE rollouts imminent, leading operators are confronted with the need for extensive and complex testing of LTE positioning technologies to ensure VoLTE E911 works well from day one. Additionally, the FCC, whose current E911 regulations apply only to outdoor environments, has proposed stringent indoor requirements as a response to increased mobile usage for emergency calls and lack of accurate positioning information on calls that originate indoors.
“Roughly 70 percent of 911 calls are placed from wireless phones and a majority of these calls originate indoors, so there is a real urgency in providing better location accuracy for mobile users, wherever they are calling from,” said Nigel Wright, vice president at Spirent Communications. “Spirent is currently working with all the key industry players to evaluate OTDOA and its integration with other positioning technologies, and to enable operators to meet the location requirements for VoLTE E911 and the evolving FCC requirements.”
Spirent 8100 LTS has won widespread acceptance as the leading platform for location testing in the wireless industry, and with this latest capability is now able to support OTDOA Position Calculation Function (PCF). Minimum performance testing for OTDOA looks only at the raw measurements from the device, whereas use of OTDOA PCF enables full verification of a device’s position accuracy performance. Recognizing its importance, leading carriers have established their own OTDOA positioning performance requirements beyond bare minimum standards. Ensuring that devices fully meet these requirements as well as the evolving FCC regulations for E911 requires comprehensive testing.