An independent study of indoor tests of a hybrid wireless location technology was submitted today to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) by wireless location engineering firm TechnoCom. The study demonstrates that existing technologies can satisfy location requirements within the timeframe proposed by the FCC in its draft rule on indoor 911 accuracy for wireless calls, according to True Position, which commissioned TechnoCom to perform the testing.
Multiple wireless carriers have challenged the technical feasibility of the proposed rule, claiming that existing technologies cannot satisfy the proposed accuracy requirements, with a spokesperson for the industry trade association claiming the rule represented “aspirational target setting.”
The results filed today by TechnoCom disprove those assertions, showing that viable technology exists in the market today, True Position said. According to TechnoCom’s findings, “The outcome is a current overall performance that readily meets the FCC’s proposed location performance threshold for indoor wireless E911 at the 67th percentile. The demonstrated performance even comes very close to meeting the 50 meter threshold at 80%, which is intended for 5 years from adoption of the proposed rules.”
Multiple other vendors have submitted filings to the FCC claiming that their technologies would also satisfy the requirements of the rule on the timeline proposed by the FCC.
“These results should prove helpful to the FCC as it moves toward reaching a resolution on its proposed rule on indoor location requirements,” said Craig Waggy, CEO of True Position. “We know that accurate location information is vitally important to American consumers, and that the FCC is intent on remedying the lack of wireless indoor location requirements for calls placed to 911 from wireless devices.”
The tests were conducted using True Position’s commercially available Uplink Time Difference of Arrival (UTDOA) technology standalone, and a hybrid solution consisting of Assisted GPS (A-GPS) and UTDOA technologies, and included indoor testing in both urban and suburban environments in Wilmington, Delaware, and surrounding areas.
For the testing, buildings of varying sizes, construction materials and use were selected by the independent firm, and a total of 62 test points were selected among 16 buildings. In all cases, the test buildings and test points remained anonymous to True Position until the conclusion of the testing and delivery of all results to the independent firm.
In early 2013, TechnoCom conducted the indoor accuracy testing for the FCC’s Communications, Security, Reliability and Interoperability Council (CSRIC). The same location and measurement methodologies were used in these tests.
The FCC has estimated that 10,000 lives could be saved each year if calls made to 911 from wireless phones had accurate location information.