Wednesday, October 24, 2012

FCC Driving Indoor Location for E911

The FCC is, in many regards, responsible for the growth of the LBS industry with its E911 mandate for GPS and Cellular location positioning. However, E911 has not yet addressed the lack of location accuracy for indoors. This is changing. Today, the FCC’s Public Safety Homeland Security Bureau will host a workshop that will focus on the upcoming test bed and issues related to improving indoor location accuracy. All major US carriers are participating and giving their perspectives on improving indoor location accuracy.  

Consumers are increasingly relying exclusively on mobile wireless communications, and many
wireless calls are now made indoors. Nevertheless, during an emergency, wireless carriers are oftentimes unable to provide a 911 call center with precise location information when the 911 call is placed indoors.
Recognizing this critical public safety concern, the FCC tasked the Communications Security,
Reliability, and Interoperability Council (CSRIC) with evaluating the performance and viability of
location technologies in their ability to support indoor environments for E911 services. To meet this
objective, various members of the CSRIC will conduct testing to evaluate location technologies for
improving indoor E911 services.

If you are interested in more details related to the FCC workshop and testbed, email

Testbed participants include: TechnoCom, Boeing, NextNav, Polaris Wireless, Qualcomm

Other presenters related to Network Infrastructure-Based Technologies and Standards for Location Delivery, include Cisco, Skyhook Wireless, Conveyant Systems, Avaya.     
Reference Stats:
* A June 2011 study by the National Center for Health Statistics showed that 16.4% of U.S. households with both landline and wireless phones received all or almost all calls on wireless phones. Nearly 3 of every 10 American homes (31.6%) overall and almost 6 in 10 households of adults aged 25–29 (58.1%) used only wireless telephones during the first half of 2011.
* A 2011 study showed that an average of 56% of wireless calls are made from indoors, up from 40% in 2003.

Watch the FCC workshop here: