New E-911 rules mean more reporting for wireless carriers
Nationwide commercial wireless carriers could have to generate 30 times as many E-911 location-accuracy reports in five years to comply with new FCC rules approved by the commission last week, according to an official for TechnoCom Wireless, a wireless location services provider and testing company.
Under the new FCC rules, wireless carriers must file reports demonstrating that they meet location-accuracy requirements within each public-service answering point (PSAP) service territory within five years—much more reporting than is done today, said Brian McNiff, TechnoCom’s vice president of marketing.
“In the past, most of the large operators were delivering the reports on a quarterly basis and delivering them on a state level … so they had to generate 200 reports per year, at most,” McNiff said. “Ultimately, they’re going to have to deliver 5000 to 6000 reports on an annual basis [to meet the new PSAP-level reporting rules].”
Using its Location Assurance Manager (LAM) solution, TechnoCom conducts drive tests that make E-911 and location-dependent-services calls into a carrier’s network to test location accuracy. Currently, TechnoCom has five large carriers as clients, but the additional reporting requirements may have smaller operators also looking for solutions, McNiff said.
“The nice part about Location Assurance Manager is the data that I collect for the economic area is automatically available for the MSA/RSA or for the PSAP, because all we’re doing is slicing the data by different geographic boundaries,” he said. “The LAM allows you do that automatically and then hit a button to [generate] the report.
“Now, with the FCC mandate, we’re trying to get that message to many of the rural carriers who really are perplexed on how to deal with this reporting complexity and reporting delivery.”
In addition, TechnoCom hopes to expand its business by talking with PSAP officials to better understand public-safety’s perspective on E-911 calls, McNiff said.
“What we’re really trying to do is to be the collaboration server between the two, so we are just starting to do our business development in the PSAP world, so we can make sure we understand their needs and take them back to the wireless operator,” McNiff said. “This way, we can standardize the vocabulary between the two groups, so we can focus on performance management instead of semantics and differences of opinion.”