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ATIS Provides Test Bed Plan for Evaluating Location Accuracy for Indoor E9-1-1 Calls

by david.nunes

ATIS Provides Test Bed Plan for Evaluating Location Accuracy for Indoor E9-1-1 Calls

Washington – ATIS is pleased to announce that testing has begun using ATIS standards and methodologies associated with indoor location accuracy performance of wireless E9-1-1 calls. The goal of this test bed, which is based in large part upon documents developed by ATIS’ Emergency Services Interconnection Forum (ESIF), is to evaluate existing E9-1-1 location technologies to help the FCC better understand the level of location accuracy that might be achievable in the future. The evaluation is intended to help develop a path forward for new solutions to assist first responders in identifying, in a timely manner, the location of an E9-1-1 caller whose call originated from inside a building. These efforts will strengthen existing location methods by providing additional details about a caller’s whereabouts.

With increased consumer dependency upon mobile communications devices, and a majority of wireless calls now being made indoors, ATIS ESIF contributed its standards and other resources to the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC’s) Communications Security, Reliability and Interoperability Council (CSRIC) III Working Group 3 (WG3). This testing will yield the critical data CSRIC’s WG3 needs to make recommendations to the FCC. Testing will take place in a variety of building types and locations, including dense urban, urban, suburban and rural areas. CSRIC WG3 plans provide the test results in its report to the FCC by March 2013.

“The results of this testing will improve how emergency services providers can pinpoint someone in a building to save lives,” said ATIS President and CEO Susan Miller. “This is another example of how ATIS plays a critical role in advancing emergency services into the next generation with collaborative public safety, service provider and vendor participation — from supporting public safety requirements in LTE networks to sending SMS messages to 9-1-1.”

Kelly Springer, Director of Regulatory and Location Technology for AT&T, and ATIS ESIF Chair, represented ATIS’ work during an October 24 FCC Workshop that addressed the upcoming indoor location accuracy test bed. Springer noted, “ATIS and its industry members recognize the growing use of wireless devices in signal-challenged environments. Our involvement in the CSRIC test bed as well as the FCC Panel discussion are significant in our understanding the challenges, the abilities and the advantages of the available wireless location technology being used today. Setting expectations and developing E9-1-1 industry standards to provide common practices and technically feasible guidelines is our goal with our involvement with CSRIC.”

Along with other companies, ATIS members Polaris Wireless and Qualcomm, both part of CSRIC WG3, will participate and have their technologies tested in this first phase of testing. Testing will be conducted by TechnoCom, a location-technology-neutral business, also an ATIS member and CSRIC WG3 participant.

“Polaris Wireless is very enthusiastic as regards the work being done by ATIS and CSRIC, as well as our involvement with these organizations, in defining and carrying through the test-bed for indoor location accuracy performance of wireless E9-1-1 calls,” said Norman Shaw, Executive Director of Government Affairs and Business Development, Polaris Wireless. “We feel that this effort marks a significant evolution in the way that decisions will be made as regards emergency services. Specifically, the FCC will now have scientifically vetted field data upon which to base its regulatory decisions. The make-up of both ATIS and CSRIC, where all stakeholders (e.g., public safety, service providers and technology companies) are represented and contribute, is the right model to drive continued technical improvement and to provide the very best performance and accuracy for the public. The hard work of ATIS over the last several years has made this new approach possible and we thank all the other members for their contributions and support.”

“Qualcomm believes that it is important to establish a baseline regarding expected performance of indoor location technologies,” said Qualcomm Senior Vice President of Government Affairs Dean Brenner. “We value ATIS’ role in bringing vendors, carriers and public safety organizations together towards this goal. Qualcomm is committed to this effort and expects that CSRIC will be in a better position to advise the FCC regarding E911 indoor location support.”

“TechnoCom is excited to play a leading role in the advancement and validation of E9-1-1 standards for emergency assistance by field testing multiple location technologies indoors under diverse and challenging conditions,” said Dr. Khaled Dessouky, Executive Vice President of TechnoCom Corporation. “With tests occurring in tall buildings of San Francisco and across dense urban, suburban and rural areas, TechnoCom’s participation is instrumental in gathering the critical indoor performance data to strengthen our emergency response standards.”

About ATIS
As a leading technology and solutions development organization, ATIS brings together the top global ICT companies to advance the industry’s most-pressing business priorities. Through ATIS committees and forums, nearly 200 companies address cloud services, device solutions, emergency services, M2M communications, cyber security, ehealth, network evolution, quality of service, billing support, operations, and more. These priorities follow a fast-track development lifecycle — from design and innovation through solutions that include standards, specifications, requirements, business use cases, software toolkits, and interoperability testing.

ATIS is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). ATIS is the North American Organizational Partner for the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP), a founding Partner of oneM2M, a member and major U.S. contributor to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Radio and Telecommunications sectors, and a member of the Inter-American Telecommunication Commission (CITEL). For more information, visit www.atis.org.

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