TMCnet Feature
April 24, 2013

Existing Technologies Provide Accurate Call Location Information to First Responders

By Ashok Bindra, TMCnet Contributor

Wireless location solutions provider TruePosition (News - Alert) Inc., a subsidiary of Liberty Media Corp., has released the results from indoor tests of its hybrid wireless location technology, which combines the Uplink Time Difference of Arrival (U-TDOA) and Assisted Global Positioning System (A-GPS) methods. According to TruePosition of the four technologies tested, U-TDOA was the only one to have a 100 percent yield in both urban and suburban performance testing, with every test call generating corresponding location information.

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC (News - Alert)) estimates that 70 percent of 911 calls are placed from wireless phones and it is further estimated that as many, if not more, than 50 percent of these wireless 911 calls originate indoors. To address concerns about the ability of existing technologies to locate wireless 911 calls made from indoor areas, the FCC is gathering data of the existing and emerging wireless location technologies.

In a statement, Steve Stuut, TruePosition CEO said, "Tests conducted in San Francisco and in Wilmington, Del. and elsewhere clearly show that providing accurate location information to first responders when the call originates from a wireless phone indoors is an achievable goal." "The combination of U-TDOA and A-GPS location technologies is an excellent solution for locating indoor 911 calls, or other situations where yield and accuracy are critical," added Stuut.

The CEO also indicated that both U-TDOA and A-GPS technologies are widely deployed in the U.S. today. The chief thinks that together they provide a solution that is technically superior and commercially viable. Plus, it is imminently available. Currently, U-TDOA is deployed on both AT&T and T-Mobile (News - Alert) networks and is already protecting millions of customers who dial 911 from their wireless phones, making it easier and faster for first responders to find them indoors. The CEO believes it can be easily paired with existing A-GPS capabilities in a hybrid solution.

According to TruePosition, the test methodology was designed by an FCC advisory committee, the Communication, Security, Reliability and Interoperability Council (CSRIC), Working Group 3 (WG3). The test methodology was created to ensure representative results for a statistically significant number of test calls made from multiple building types and environments. Performance characteristics tested include accuracy, latency, yield, reported uncertainty and location scatter.  The San Francisco and Wilmington tests were separately conducted by the same independent third party.

Edited by Jamie Epstein
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