FCC Seeks Comment on Proposed Z-Axis Metric, CTIA Report
Monday, September 10, 2018 | Comments

The FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau is seeking comment on the vertical accuracy (Z-axis) test bed report submitted by CTIA and a proposal for a Z-axis accuracy metric submitted with the report.

CTIA submitted the report Aug. 3 on behalf of the nationwide carriers pursuant to the FCC’s 2015 report and order that required carriers to establish a test bed process to develop a Z-axis accuracy metric and submit the proposed metric to the commission for approval.

The report, prepared by 9-1-1 Location Technologies Test Bed, the test bed administrator, describes the testing process used to assess vertical location solutions and provided results of that testing.

According to the report, two technology vendors, NextNav and Polaris Wireless, participated in the testing and tested technologies that rely on barometric pressure sensor information from mobile wireless handsets to determine an estimated altitude of an indoor wireless 9-1-1 call.

The report found that there are still significant questions remaining about the performance and scalability of Z-axis technology for live 9-1-1 call environments. In a filing with the FCC, NextNav challenged that characterization of the testing process.

The report specifically recommended further focus on three issues:
• Examining barometric sensor performance in a larger and more diverse sample of mobile devices
• Developing production architectures for commercial implementation of Z-axis solutions
• Assessing the feasibility of converting Z-axis data to floor-level identification

In the cover letter to the report, CTIA and the carriers proposed a Z-axis accuracy metric of ±5 meters for 80 percent of fixes from mobile devices capable of delivering barometric sensor-based altitude estimates.

In requesting comment, the FCC is seeking general comments, as well as feedback on specific issues including:
• The test process and test results described in the report
• The proposed Z-axis accuracy metric
• The potential need for additional testing as part of the FCC’s process for determining a Z-axis metric

Comments are due Oct. 1, and reply comments are due Oct. 11. Find the full notice here.

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