AT&T Questions TruePosition’s 9-1-1 Location Accuracy Tests (6/30/14)
Monday, June 30, 2014 | Comments

An AT&T official questioned the technology behind recent 9-1-1 indoor location accuracy tests by TruePosition.

“Although TruePosition claims the test relied on commercial off-the-shelf technologies, it did not, and the technologies used by TruePosition are not fully supported in any wireless network today,” said Joan Marsh, AT&T vice president of federal regulatory, in a blog post. “Moreover, the technology used would not provide complete location information in that it does not have the capability to provide a vertical estimate of location. Indeed, TruePosition simply ignored that component of the FCC’s proposed rules as someone else’s problem to fix, while enthusiastically encouraging the FCC to adopt unachievable regulations for carriers to meet.”

TruePosition said wireless location engineering firm TechnoCom conducted the tests, which were submitted to the FCC. The company said the tests were conducted using TruePosition’s commercially available uplink time difference of arrival (UTDOA) technology standalone and a hybrid solution consisting of assisted GPS (A-GPS) and UTDOA technologies. The tests included indoor testing in urban and suburban environments in Wilmington, Delaware and surrounding areas.

Marsh said the tests ignore the potential for interference. “TruePosition’s proposed solution depends on hardware installed at each base station seeing the handsets being served by other base stations,” the blog said. “Modern wireless networks are designed to minimize the number of base stations interacting with a handset to prevent interference. TruePosition simply ignores this design feature by proposing a solution, yet undefined in industry standards bodies, that would require wireless carriers to essentially ‘power up’ a handset during a 9-1-1 call. They also ignore the potential for the untenable interference that such an approach would likely create.”

Marsh said the wireless industry should be focused on a path to delivering specific and unique dispatchable civic addresses. “… All stakeholders would be better served by working together to chart the path toward delivery of a solution that will fully address public safety’s needs — one built on broad-based commercial technologies that provide a specific dispatchable address,” she said.

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