On September 10, 2018, the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau (the “Bureau”) released a Public Notice seeking comment on the proposed vertical accuracy (“z-axis” ) metric. The z-axis accuracy metric was proposed in the test bed report (the “Report”) submitted by CTIA on behalf of the nationwide wireless carriers: AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon. (DA 18-928, PS Docket No. 07-114).

The Report describes a process that uses barometric pressure sensor information from mobile wireless handsets to determine the altitude of an indoor wireless 911 call, and recommends further testing focused on a larger sample size, developing production for implementation of z-axis solutions, and to assess the feasibility of using z-axis data to determine floor-level. The Report also proposes an accuracy metric of +/- 5 meters for 80% of fixes from mobile devices capable of delivering barometric pressure sensor-based altitude information.

The Bureau seeks commenters views on the test process and test results described in the Report, specifically, whether it provides sufficient information to assess performance and asking what is the commercial availability of the barometric sensors that were tested and if alternative vertical location technologies are available. The Bureau asks commenters views on the proposed accuracy metric of +/- 5 meters, and whether this is a sufficient level of accuracy to meet public safety E911 needs. The Bureau also asks if additional testing is necessary to determine a z-axis accuracy metric and if so, how should such testing be administered. For example, should additional parameters be tested, how much time should be allowed for testing, and should testing be expanded to cover vertical location technologies that do not rely on barometric pressure?

Comments are due October 1, 2018.

Reply Comments are due October 11, 2018.

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