AT&T Discusses Z-Axis Technology for 9-1-1 Location in FCC Filing
Monday, May 04, 2020 | Comments

AT&T responded to questions about its comments filed in response to the FCC’s fifth notice of proposed rulemaking in the wireless location accuracy proceeding and its plans to implement technologies to meet the Z-axis benchmarks during an April 20 meeting with FCC officials.

The carrier also reiterated an issue previously raised concerning whether carriers could rely on, for compliance purposes, a Z-axis technology dependent on users opting in and not subsequently opting out. AT&T said the ability of the technology to achieve compliant levels of accuracy is wholly dependent on a user’s affirmatively consenting to allow location tracking of their device to aid in calibration, irrespective of whether a 9-1-1 call is ever placed by that user’s device.

In its meeting with FCC officials, AT&T executives discussed whether the devices on its network were Z-axis capable or could become Z-axis capable via a software upgrade. “Our analysis shows that many devices do not have barometric pressure sensors, do not have barometric pressure sensors of sufficient quality, or can no longer be pushed software updates,” the filing said. “We estimate that only some 26% of Android devices could be considered Z-axis capable and have the capability to be upgraded to support vertical location. And while we believe the majority of Apple devices on our network include a barometric pressure sensor, a not-insignificant number of Apple devices may also face limitations in receiving updates.”

The full filing is here.

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