Wireless Location Accuracy

In a series of orders in PS Docket No. 07-114, the Commission has adopted requirements for indoor location accuracy (horizontal and vertical) with 911 calls delivered by Commercial Mobile Radio Service (CMRS) providers.  Links to these orders can be found in the resources section below.

The most recent of these orders, the Sixth Report and Order, expands the vertical location accuracy deployment options.  The rules adopted in the Sixth Report and Order became effective on September 28, 2020, except for rules containing information collection provisions, which must be approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).  The Commission will update this webpage to reflect the effective date of rules subject to OMB approval.

Below is the summary timeline of compliance deadlines for CMRS providers established by these orders.  The summary timeline does not reference all of the relevant rules, and it does not modify or supersede the specific text of any rule that is referenced.

In addition to the summary timeline, the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau developed a reporting template to assist nationwide and non-nationwide CMRS providers in collecting, formatting, and submitting aggregate live 911 call data in accordance with the requirements in the rules.  The template helps the Commission to evaluate the progress CMRS providers have made toward meeting the 911 location accuracy benchmarks.  The template is an Excel spreadsheet and is available for downloading on the Commission's website.

 

Benchmarks and Timeline

2016

  • August 3, 2016
  • Indoor Location Test Bed must be established. (47 CFR § 9.10(i)(3)(i))

2017

  • February 3, 2017
  • All providers must submit their first reports on aggregate live 911 call location data to the Commission, NENA, APCO, and NASNA.  Nationwide providers must report live call data collected in the six Test Cities, and must provide reports on a quarterly basis. ((47 CFR § 9.10(i)(3)(ii)(B))   Non-nationwide providers must report live call data collected in one or more selected Test Cities or the largest county in their footprint, depending on the area served by the provider, and must provide reports every 6 months.  (47 CFR § 9.10(i)(3)(ii)(D)-(E))
  • Nationwide providers must submit their initial plans for implementing indoor location accuracy requirements. (47 CFR § 9.10(i)(4)(i)) 
  • Nationwide providers must submit their first progress reports on implementation of indoor location accuracy requirements. (47 CFR § 9.10(i)(4)(ii))
  • April 3, 2017 (Two-year benchmark)*
  • All providers must achieve 50-meter horizontal accuracy or provide dispatchable location for 40 percent of all wireless 911 calls. (47 CFR § 9.10(i)(2)(i)(A))
  • August 3, 2017
  • Non-nationwide providers must submit their initial plans for implementing indoor location accuracy requirements. (47 CFR § 9.10(i)(4)(i))
  • Non-nationwide providers must submit their first progress reports on implementation of indoor location accuracy requirements. (47 CFR § 9.10(i)(4)(ii))

2018

  • April 3, 2018 (Three-year benchmark)*
  • All providers must achieve 50-meter horizontal accuracy or provide dispatchable location for 50 percent of all wireless 911 calls. (47 CFR § 9.10(i)(2)(i)(A)(2))
  • August 3, 2018
  • Nationwide providers must submit one or more proposed vertical (z-axis) accuracy metric(s), validated by data from the Test Bed, to the Commission for approval.  The proposed metric(s) will be put out for public comment, and the final metric approved by the Commission will be used for subsequent vertical accuracy benchmarks set forth in the rules. (47 CFR § 9.10(i)(4)(i))
  • All providers must submit their second progress reports on implementation of indoor location accuracy requirements.  Nationwide providers must include an assessment of the deployment of dispatchable location solutions. (47 CFR § 9.10(i)(4)(ii))
  • All providers must begin delivering uncompensated barometric pressure data to PSAPs from any device capable of doing so. (47 CFR § 9.10(i)(2)(ii)(A))

2020

  • April 3, 2020 (Five-year benchmark)*
  • Nationwide providers must achieve 50-meter horizontal location accuracy (x/y location within 50 meters) or provide dispatchable location for 70 percent of all wireless 911 calls. (47 CFR § 9.10(i)(2)(i)(A)(3))
  • Non-nationwide providers must achieve the 70 percent threshold described above by this date or within 6 months of the provider’s deployment of a commercially-operating VoLTE platform in the provider's network, whichever is later. (47 CFR § 9.10(i)(2)(i)(B)(3))

2021

  • April 3, 2021 (Six-year benchmark)*
  • Horizontal Location Accuracy Benchmark: Nationwide providers must achieve 50-meter horizontal accuracy (x/y location within 50 meters) or provide dispatchable location for 80 percent of all wireless 911 calls. (47 CFR § 9.10(i)(2)(i)(A)(4))
    • Non-nationwide providers must achieve the 80 percent call threshold described above by this date or within 1 year of the provider’s deployment of a commercially-operating VoLTE platform in the provider's network, whichever is later. (47 CFR § 9.10(i)(2)(i)(B)(4))
  • Vertical Location Accuracy Benchmark: In each of the top 25 cellular market areas (CMAs), nationwide CMRS providers shall deploy either dispatchable location or z-axis technology. (47 CFR § 9.10(i)(2)(ii)(C))

 

Z-axis Accuracy Metric, Z-axis Deployment Options, and Dispatchable Location Deployment Requirements

 
  • CMRS providers that deploy z-axis technology must do so consistent with the following z-axis accuracy metric: Within 3 meters above or below (plus or minus 3 meters) the handset for 80% of wireless E911 calls made from the z-axis capable device. CMRS providers also must deliver z-axis information in Height Above Ellipsoid.  Where available to the CMRS provider, floor level information must be provided in addition to z-axis location information.  (47 CFR § 9.10(i)(2)(ii)
  • If CMRS providers deploy z-axis technology, they must do so according to the following options:

(1) In each area where z-axis technology is used, deploy the technology to cover 80 percent of the population or 80 percent of the buildings that exceed three stories; or

(2) Deploy z-axis capable handsets enabled with z-axis technology on a nationwide basis (or throughout the CMRS provider's network footprint, as applicable). (47 CFR § 9.10(i)(2)(ii)(I))

  • CMRS providers that deploy dispatchable location must provide a density of reference points distributed throughout the CMA equivalent to 25 percent of the population in that CMA. (47 CFR § 9.10(i)(2)(ii)(L))

 

2022

  • January 6, 2022*
  • All CMRS providers shall provide dispatchable location with wireless E911 calls if it is technically feasible for them to do so (47 CFR § 9.10(i)(2)(ii)(G))
  • April 3, 2022*
    • Non-nationwide providers that serve any of the top 25 CMAs must provide either dispatchable location or z-axis technology (47 CFR § 9.10(i)(2)(ii)(F))
    • If CMRS providers deploy z-axis technology, they must meet the z-axis accuracy metric and deployment options.  If they used dispatchable location, they must meet the dispatchable location deployment requirements (See inset box above.)

2023

  • April 3, 2023 (Eight-year benchmark)*
  • If each of the top 50 CMA's, nationwide CMRS providers shall deploy either dispatchable location or z-axis technology.  (47 C.F.R. § 9.10(i)(2)(ii)(D))
  • If CMRS providers deploy z-axis technology, they must meet the z-axis accuracy metric and deployment options.  If they use dispatchable location, they must meet the dispatchable location deployment requirements.  (See box above.)

2024

  • April 3, 2024*
  • Non-nationwide providers that serve any of the top 50 CMAs shall deploy either dispatchable location or z-axis technology.  (47 C.F.R. § 9.10(i)(2)(ii)(F))
  • If CMRS providers deploy z-axis technology, they must meet the z-axis accuracy metric dispatchable location deployment requirements.  (See box above.)

2025

  • April 3, 2025*
    • Nationwide CMRS providers shall deploy on a nationwide basis either dispatchable location or z-axis technology. (47 C.F.R. § 9.10(i)(2)(ii)(E))
    • If CMRS providers deploy z-axis technology, they must meet the z-axis accuracy metric and deployment options.  If they use dispatchable location, they must meet the dispatchable location deployment requirements.  (See box above.)

2026

  • April 3, 2026*
    • Non-nationwide providers shall deploy either dispatchable location or z-axis technology throughout their network footprint. (47 C.F.R. § 9.10(i)(2)(ii)(F))

* Providers must certify compliance with the benchmark within 60 days of the applicable deadline.  (47 C.F.R. § 9.10(i)(2)(iii))

 

Live Call Data Reporting

The Bureau has developed the Live Call Data Reporting Template to provide a consistent and uniform method for submission of live 911 call data by CMRS providers and assist in stakeholders’ analysis and comparison of the information. All CMRS providers, both nationwide and non-nationwide carriers, should use the Live Call Data Reporting Template for the submission of required periodic live call data. 

 

Live Call Data Reporting Template

 

Procedures for Filing of Aggregate 911 Live Call Data Reports

The Reporting Template may be filed with the Commission electronically by following the procedures set forth below:

  • Fill out the Reporting Template.  The Reporting Template requests the following information per Test City or County:
  • Section A - Date of submission; name of service provider; name and contact information of person submitting the form
  • Section B - Total Live 911 Calls and Total 911 Calls Excluded from Total Live 911 Calls
  • Section C - Reporting by Positioning Method
  • Section D - Reporting by Morphology
  • Section E - Total Live 911 Calls Excluded from Data, by Type and Total by Type
  • Submit the completed reports with cover letter identifying the CMRS provider to the FCC at:

live911callreports@fcc.gov

  • Send copies of the completed reports to the following public safety organizations:

            Request for Confidential Treatment. CMRS providers may request confidential treatment of their live 911 call data reports pursuant to Section 0.459 of the Commission’s rules by submitting a request with the first report filed. Unless otherwise specified by the filing party, the Commission will presume that a CMRS provider’s initial request for confidential treatment is intended to request the same confidential treatment for all subsequent reports filed by that provider.  Despite any grant of confidentiality pursuant to Section 0.459, the Commission reserves the right to release aggregate or anonymized data in order to measure compliance with its rules. For instance, the Commission may publish on its website aggregate information on CMRS providers’ performance in a given geographic area, a comparison of positioning technologies across the six Test Cities, or the percentage of calls using a particular positioning source method across all CMRS providers.


 

Resources

 

Updated: 
Monday, November 9, 2020