Second Location Vendor Says FCC Should Set Indoor Location Accuracy Metric
Monday, September 17, 2018 | Comments

Polaris Wireless executives met with FCC officials to discuss a CTIA report and cover letter that the company said “obscure Polaris Wireless’ success in achieving highly accurate Z-axis fixes.”

The company said more testing should be performed, but more tests are not needed to set a metric. “Polaris Wireless recommends that the FCC proceed with establishing a vertical location benchmark metric of 3 meters on 80 percent of fixes for E9-1-1.”

The CTIA report, released last month, said 9-1-1 altitude location is not ready for live environments and specifically questioned barometric sensor bias. “Adjusting for sensor bias on an individualized device-by-device basis proved manageable when dealing with dedicated apps running on six test handsets, but the calibration capability would need to be built into live production solutions, with signaling based on standards and retested at scale to fully assess performance,” the report said.

In its ex parte filing, Polaris Wireless said it did not use the active compensation measures it has developed to overcome sensor bias because the company understood the test would only provide for limited opportunities in that area and its measures should not be used. However, the other participant was allowed to use compensation measures so Polaris Wireless requested that the test bed perform limited retesting with the active compensation measures. This yielded Z-axis accuracy of 2.8 meters overall, supporting floor level accuracy of 3 meters.

“The Test Bed LLC did not respond and did not include this data in its report or in any supplement,” Polaris Wireless said.

Polaris Wireless also said its location solution is supported on iOS devices and could have been part of the test, but there was insufficient time to develop the test application for iOS devices.

“Polaris Wireless considers the Z-stage testing a success, achieving 4.8 meters with just a few compensation test calls outside of the test market and prior to actual testing,” the ex parte notice said. “Stage-Z testing also demonstrated that the currently adopted standards for barometric sensor compensation are sufficient to support the Stage-Z solutions under test, both demonstrating better than 3-meter accuracy. … The standards support setting a benchmark now, and it is incumbent upon carriers and device manufacturers to implement these standards.”

Last month, NextNav, the other trial participant also said the FCC should adopt a vertical location metric.

Find the full Poalris Wireless filing here.

Separately, the National Public Safety Telecommunications Council (NPSTC) said in a Sept. 17 outreach email summarizing its recent governing board meeting that although CTIA and wireless carriers recommended a Z-axis floor level accuracy of +/-5 meters, public safety has agreed that Z-axis accuracy of +/-3 meters would be much better.

“The [NPSTC] board voted to express the board's concerns on the Z-axis floor level accuracy to the FCC,” the email said.

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On 9/18/18, Abdelmadjid Zitani said:
The Z-axis is not compliant on phones especially on the other part of the world. However, it can be mixed with other data like tower height and other to have better accuracy. Good luck.

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