DHS S&T: Enter the Escape Respirator Prize Challenge

In recent years, prize challenges have become a great way for government agencies to find solutions to some of the toughest hurdles facing our nation. Crowdsourcing multiple perspectives and ideas means we’re more likely to get results that are both impactful and cost-effective, and participants can learn from each other and the official feedback they receive. It’s in this spirit of friendly innovative competition that I invite you to submit your ideas for a prize challenge from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T): The Escape Respirator Challenge.

Like our previous competitions, this challenge addresses safety and operational problems affecting homeland security officials. The Escape Respirator Challenge aims to improve escape respirators or hoods, which are personal protective equipment used to help the wearer quickly and safely evacuate from areas affected by aerosolized chemical, biological and radiological hazards. Based on feedback from DHS officials in the field, S&T has determined  two main shortcomings with escape hoods currently on the market.

Lack of compact design, so the escape respirator is heavy and can’t be carried in small space, like a suit coat inner pocket.

Lack of oxygen delivery, which makes them less effective in oxygen-deficient environments.

Currently available escape hoods address one of these issues, but users need both features, a compact design and oxygen delivery system, to be better protected from threats.

I know what many of you are wondering – how much can I win? S&T will award a total cash prize pool of $250,000 for the Escape Respirator Challenge, which will be distributed over two phases. In Phase I, each of the three finalists will receive $50,000. At the end of Phase II, one winner will be awarded $100,000.

If you’re interested in participating, you’ll need to register for the challenge by Thursday, April 11, 2019 at 5 PM EST. Once you’re registered, applications are due by Thursday, May 30, 2019 at 5:00pm EST. For full details about this competition and to complete your registration, visit the Escape Respirator website.

This is a great opportunity to see if your escape hood prototype is up to the test, and I encourage you to join the competition if you think your product can address the current design shortcomings. We’ll share updates about the finalists and winner in the months following the May deadline, so be sure to follow S&T on our social media channels: LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Flickr.

I also encourage you to check the S&T website for information on new prize challenges as they’re announced. We keep a list of Current Competitions in one place to make it easy for you to find the challenge that’s right for you. Best of luck to all the participants!

DHS Directs Agencies to Address Ongoing Cyber Attack Campaign

The Department of Homeland Security has issued an emergency directive requiring civilian executive branch agencies to take steps to defend themselves against cyber attackers who have intercepted the Internet and e-mail traffic of some federal agencies. “In coordination with government and industry partners, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) is tracking a series of incidents involving domain name system (DNS) infrastructure tampering.  CISA is aware of multiple executive branch agency domains that were impacted by the tampering campaign and has notified the agencies that maintain them,” said the directive, which was issued yesterday by Christopher Krebs, CISA’s director.

The attackers have obtained user names and passwords that enable them to make changes to DNS records, the directive said.  They have changed those records by “replacing the legitimate address of a service with an address the attacker controls.  This enables them to direct user traffic to their own infrastructure for manipulation or inspection before passing it on to the legitimate service, should they choose,” it said. Continue reading

Myriad of Parties Offer Views on National Spectrum Strategy

A myriad of parties have offered advice to the Trump administration on the development of a national spectrum strategy, including terrestrial wireless, cable, satellite, GPS, TV broadcaster, utility, and public safety entities. Among other things, entities stressed the importance of exclusive access to licensed spectrum, unlicensed channels, spectrum sharing, the protection of incumbents from interference, changes to the Spectrum Relocation Fund, transparency in how federal bands are being used, spectral efficiency, and a road map detailing when spectrum will be made available. They filed comments with the National Telecommunications and Information Administration in response to a request for comments released last month (TR Daily, Dec. 20, 2018).

President Trump signed a memorandum in October directing the executive branch to develop the national spectrum strategy and emphasizing the importance of efficient government spectrum use, spectrum sharing, and leading the world in 5G deployment (TR Daily, Oct. 25, 2018). Mr. Trump’s memo requires the secretary of Commerce, working through NTIA, and in consultation with Office of Management and Budget, the Office of Science and Technology Policy, the FCC, and other federal entities, to submit the national spectrum strategy to the president within 270 days.

NTIA is closed like the rest of the Commerce Department due to the partial federal government shutdown, but TR Daily received comments filed with NTIA in docket no. 181130999-8999-01 from the parties themselves.

“Fundamental to the Strategy should be the U.S. Government’s commitment to deliver substantial additional terrestrial spectrum for 5G, and on a clearly defined schedule,” CTIA argued in its comments. “History has shown that, where sufficient spectrum is available for wireless service, the private sector will invest billions of dollars to convert that raw material into innovative products and services that help consumers, create jobs, and grow the economy – and that opportunity will be even more profound with 5G. Yet today, terrestrial, flexible-use spectrum available for mobile wireless use is comprised of less than 6.5 gigahertz; by comparison, fixed (non-flexible use) allocations amount to nearly 23 gigahertz and satellite allocations cover nearly 30 gigahertz.”

CTIA asked the administration in the national spectrum strategy to adopt certain principles for spectrum management. “A top priority should be identifying and making available low-, mid-, and high-band spectrum for exclusive, licensed terrestrial use – more specifically, the U.S. Government should make available hundreds of megahertz of mid-band spectrum and thousands of megahertz of high-band spectrum for terrestrial wireless use in the near term – and licensees should be able to provide fixed, mobile, or both types of service.”

CTIA also called on the Trump administration to “develop and execute on a five-year action plan for FCC auctions of identified spectrum bands, and the Strategy should outline a process, consistent with the principles herein, to prepare for the next 10-15 years of wireless developments while also retaining flexibility to account for continued innovations.”

“While unlicensed spectrum plays – and will continue to play – a key part in meeting consumer demand, the Government should appropriately balance the allocation of licensed and unlicensed operations and ensure that any unlicensed spectrum regimes are technologically neutral and available for Wi-Fi, LTE-Unlicensed (‘LTE-U’), Licensed Assisted Access (‘LAA’), and all unlicensed technologies,” CTIA said. “In international fora, U.S. policy should support harmonization in key 5G bands, while maintaining flexibility in the ITU Radio Regulations when possible.”

In addition, the national spectrum strategy “should promote transparency and collaboration between Federal agencies and the commercial sector and should support use of the Spectrum Relocation Fund (‘SRF’) for exploring technology advancements that could facilitate the transition of Federal spectrum for commercial use,” according to CTIA, which added that “the Strategy must be vested with a sense of urgency. Many nations are vying to lead on 5G, and the United States cannot wait.” Continue reading

Johnson Defends FirstNet, Rips Verizon

Jeff Johnson, executive director of the Western Fire Chiefs Association and a former First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) board member, has reiterated his criticism of Verizon Communications, Inc., which is offering a competing public safety broadband offering.

In a column for “Mission Critical Communications,” Mr. Johnson said, “The claims by Verizon and its supporters that it is not realistic or practical for all first responders to use a single network ignores the vision of Congress and all of the major national public-safety organizations when they passed the law in 2012 that required building the FirstNet nationwide public-safety broadband network. The vision was to have one network where all public-safety entities and personnel could interoperate with each other on a nationwide basis. Public-safety leaders did not support then, or now, a patchwork of network cores fragmented across multiple providers like Verizon is now advocating.”

Mr. Johnson continued that “Verizon, and its paid supporters, are trying to dismantle that vision by spinning misleading concerns about interoperability. They’d like you to think FirstNet is being built in a silo and that those of us on the FirstNet core won’t be able to communicate with first responders that choose to stay on consumer networks. That isn’t true. FirstNet is interoperable with other Long Term Evolution (LTE) and radio networks today. AT&T, the private-sector partner responsible for delivering FirstNet, is building the platform on open industry standards. FirstNet subscribers nationwide can talk, text and communicate with customers on all other consumer wireless networks, and vice versa, benefitting from cross-network interoperability every day.”- Paul Kirby, paul.kirby@wolterskluwer.com

Courtesy TRDaily

Andy Seybold’s Public Safety Advocate, January 17, 2019

CES and more News and Views. First, I must admit I did not attend the yearly Consumer Electronics Show (CES) that is held in Las Vegas in early January. In fact, I have not attended CES for the last eight years or so because CES had been about electronics and buried within this huge show there might have been some wireless products. It turns out that this year CES was a huge event for wireless, public safety communications, and a look into the future of devices that are or will be controlled by wireless systems.

What I have learned from others who did attend was that wireless took center stage in many sections of the show. Fifth-Generation (5G) systems were promoted, demonstrated, and used to control many different types of electronic devices coming to consumers, businesses, and public safety real soon now. I say Real Soon Now (RSN) because many of the products and demonstrations shown at CES each year are not yet ready for prime time or store shelves. Many of the projects shown at CES are precursors for what the industry can expect to enter the marketplace when year-end Christmas shopping commences. Still, CES is becoming a good show for those who want to see the latest in wireless and what is coming in the future.

After the last day of CES there was another day referred to as CES Government 2019. This is one day I wish I had attended since there were a number of informative speeches given by members of the federal government and business communities dealing with cloud computing, and leveraging Artificial Intelligence (AI) in government and business today. One planned speech, “Cyber 2019: Threats and Trends” was cancelled due to the government shutdown. It was to have been presented by the Deputy Assistant Director for Cyber Security for the FBI, but there were a number of other great sessions. Read the Entire Post Here .

Here are the articles I have selected with the help of Discovery Patterns artificial intelligence.

San Jose, 100 Cities, Cos. Sue FCC Over Broadband Power Grab

Patch.com Jan 17 03:30 Continue reading

Andy Seybold’s Public Safety Advocate, January 10, 2019

As we start the New Year, I would like to once again let you know that what may seem to be an AT&T leaning on my part is not. I believe in FirstNet and have fought for more than ten years for a nationwide broadband network. AT&T was the winner of the RFP so my comments regarding progress, of course, include AT&T. There were three bidders to the RFP, and a number that decided for whatever reason not to respond. For example, I was on a team for a very large Silicon Valley company that came close to bidding. We felt we had a winning proposal and the CFO agreed as did most of upper management. However, just before the deadline, the CEO decided that since this particular company made its money on short-term payback projects and FirstNet would require a sizable investment upfront and a payback over the twenty-five-year period of the contract, he should cancel the effort.

Overall Picture: The big picture view I have of public safety communications is that it is underway but taking much more time than anyone expected. It is a homogenous environment where Next-Generation 9-1-1 (NG911) feeds into both the Land Mobile Radio (LMR) and “FirstNet (Built with AT&T)” networks and provides for citizen input vetted by the Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP), thus making the public safety community’s job easier and safer. This will lead to more lives being saved, faster results in apprehending criminals, the ability to put fire equipment and personnel where they can attack a fire with the best results, and keep track of those inside a structure.  Read the Entire Post Here.

Here are the articles I have selected with the help of Discovery Patterns artificial intelligence

More Than 50000 Square Miles of LTE Coverage Added Nationwide to Support AT&T and FirstNet …

Business Wire Jan  9 18:00

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We increased the LTE coverage area for the AT&T network and FirstNet …

AT and T Deploys 700 MHz Band 14 Spectrum in 500 Markets

MissionCritical Jan 10 10:10

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AT&T increased the Long Term Evolution (LTE) coverage area for the AT&T network and First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) public-safety communications platform by more than 50,000 square miles nationwide, covering an additional 1 million individuals, during 2018. The carrier also deployed band 14 spectrum in more than 500 markets. read more

At CES 2019, 5G is even more of a confusing mess than ever – CNET

CNET: Apple Jan 10 09:15

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Commentary: Everyone’s talking about 5G at the show, even if they can’t agree on what 5G actually is.

AT&T Augments LTE Coverage to Benefit FirstNet Subscribers

Zacks.com Jan 10 08:20

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AT&T intends to ramp up the FirstNet deployment while focusing on 5G to retain its leading position in the wireless market. The company continues to …

Highway Police Finds Productivity Gains Uploading Video via FirstNet

PR Web Jan 10 08:20

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… in the country to opt-in to the highly-secure wireless broadband communications network made available to Arkansas’ public safety community.

CES 2019: First look at the Samsung 5G smartphone

Tech Investor News Jan  9 18:10

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Samsung is showing off its 5G smartphone prototype at CES 2019, giving users a first taste of what the device will look like. Read Article at Source …

Samsung: 5G smartphones will be launched in the first half of this year

jqknews Jan  9 18:10

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2019 coincides with the 50th anniversary of Samsung Electronics. Over the past 50 years, we have been committed to bringing meaningful innovation.

CES 2019: Inseego 5G NR Solution Portfolio Drives Mobile and Fixed Wireless Deployments …

Inseego Jan  9 17:45

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Tier-One Asia-Pacific Operator Selects Inseego 5G NR Fixed Wireless Solution for In-Home Broadband Deployment, Joining Numerous Tier One …

Cradlepoint to provide new gigabit-class LTE edge router

Telecompaper Jan  9 17:00

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… NetCloud service and turns 4G/LTE and 5G mobile services into mission-critical wireless WANs for enterprise and public safety applications.

5G dominates 2019 mobile predictions

ITWeb Africa Jan  9 16:25

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Market research firm TrendForce predicts the arrival of 5G smartphones will be …

CES 2019 Unveils Next-Gen Innovation to the World

Business Wire Jan  9 16:15

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LAS VEGAS–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The next generation of innovation is taking center stage this week at CES® 2019, as companies large and small unveil technologies that will revolutionize the way we live, work and play. This week, attendees are expected to experience all that fuels the expansion of tech into new areas such as 5G, artificial intelligence, smart cities, resilience, sports, vehicle tech, digital health and more. Owned and produced by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), CES 20

CES 2019: Latest in Muni Smart Lighting, Earthquake Warning, 5G

Government Technology News Jan  9 16:15

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LAS VEGAS – Collaboration between two major cities and their telecommunications partners is generating significant public response and should increase safety, reduce energy consumption and yield operational savings, officials told Government Technology. Technology and public safety officials from Las Vegas and Los Angeles joined executives from AT&T and Ubicquia, a smart city platform provider, on Jan. 8 at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas to discuss how new and ongoing partnersh

Senate Confirms Starks, Carr to FCC

Multichannel News Jan  3 03:20

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During his confirmation hearing, I was excited to hear him highlight the need to expand rural broadband and the power of telemedicine. I look forward …

Airbus to Upgrade, Expand German Energy Firm’s TETRA Network

MissionCritical Jan 10 10:10

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Airbus will modernize and expand seNet, the secure TETRA system of energy supplier STEAG. Airbus will replace the central technology of the communications system with Taira TETRA servers. read more

Your AT&T Phone Does Not Have 5G Now

Google News – Overview Jan 10 07:30

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Samsung is starting it’s #ces2019 press conference talking about 5G. It’s working with AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint. In a way 5G is here now but it

Two-thirds of global firms plan to harness 5G by 2020, says Gartner

The National Jan 10 07:10

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Nearly 66 per cent of companies globally have plans to deploy 5G by 2020, while Internet of Things (IoT) will remain the principle use of the faster, …

Verizon’s 5G CES Keynote: T-Shirts, But No Beef

Light Reading Jan 10 06:30

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Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg’s keynote centered on the ‘eight currencies’ of 5G, but offered little in the way of new insight into Verizon’s plans for network rollouts and 5G-powered devices.

CES 2019: Cisco talks 6G

ZDNet Jan  9 21:00

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While everyone else spent CES 2019 talking about 5G, Cisco is already looking towards a 6G future.

Comcast New (CMCSA) Holding Has Increased by Uss Investment Management Ltd; Tetra …

The FinExaminer Jan  9 18:20

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… 14/03/2018 RadioResource: TETRA Operator Selected to Operate Finland’s Public-Safety Broadband Network; 24/04/2018 TETRA Market Size …

Android Brands to Advocate 5G Smartphones

Eetasia.com Jan  9 18:10

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According to TrendForce’s latest report, Android smartphone brands, such as Samsung, Huawei, Xiaomi, OPPO, Vivo, and One Plus, all have a …

5G smartphones could revitalize sales, says report, as AT&T accused of deceiving customers

Newsvoice Jan  9 18:10

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5G smartphones could revitalize sales, says report, as AT&T accused of deceiving customers.

5G Android Phone- Device List

Apps to Follow Jan  9 18:10

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It looks like 2019 will finally see smartphone manufacturers launch a device which can hook up to the ultra-fast 5G networks as soon as possible.

AT&T’s Jeff McElfresh reveals network strategy and 5G plans

Telecom Lead Jan  9 17:45

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AT&T said data traffic on its mobile network has grown more than 470,000 …

Verizon, Disney StudioLab Tout 5G Partnership

TVNewsCheck Jan  9 17:45

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5G-enabled cloud-based production workflows, live volumetric video and delivery of movies to theaters are some of the developments that Disney’s …

5G Automotive Association at CES 2019: Highlighting connected mobility through 5G

5G Automotive Association Jan  9 17:45

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5GAA founding member Ericsson will showcase its latest use of the C-V2X technology, demonstrating how the 4G/5G mobile networks will enable …

Intel Announces Series Of New Products At CES

Markets Insider Jan  9 17:11

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(RTTNews) – Intel Corp. (INTC) announced a series of new products at CES, including new chips for artificial intelligence and 5G wireless connectivity.

iPhone and Other Smartphone Sales Are Slowing. Will 5G Networks Bring Them Back?

TheStreet.com Jan  9 16:55

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If there was any shadow of a doubt that the smartphone industry is slowing, recent updates from Apple (AAPL – Get Report) and Samsung (SSNLF) …

Verizon Wireless says current spectrum holdings are sufficient for 5G buildout

FierceWireless Jan  9 16:55

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Verizon Wireless is confident it doesn’t need more spectrum to achieve its 5G goals. The carrier has only used a little more than half of its existing …

Blackberry CEO on Data Security, AI Threats, 5G

Yahoo Finance UK Jan  9 16:50

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Jan.09 — John Chen, Blackberry Ltd. chief executive officer, discusses mobile data security, a partnership with Amazon, and 5G software rollout plans.

How 5G will change your smartphone, and your life in 2019

The Coli Jan  3 10:10

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Yes. Easily. But it’s only in its early stages since 5G has only rolled out very slowly last year. Give it until the mid 2020s before we see 5G fully utilized.

The FCC Is Closing, So Hold Your Cell Phone Service Gripes

WIRED Jan  3 02:55

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The agency has washed its hands of much of its oversight over broadband and text-message service providers since Republicans gained control of …


Carriers Again Pledge to End Location Aggregation Contracts

AT&T, Inc., said today that it has decided to discontinue the use of all location aggregation services in the wake of a report that said the carrier is one of several that is selling access to customer data that is being obtained by third parties such as bounty hunters.

“Last year we stopped most location aggregation services while maintaining some that protect our customers, such as roadside assistance and fraud prevention,” said an AT&T spokesperson. “In light of recent reports about the misuse of location services, we have decided to eliminate all location aggregation services – even those with clear consumer benefits.  We are immediately eliminating the remaining services and will be done in March.”

FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel and members of Congress have criticized the wireless carriers and called for investigations in the wake of a story by the Motherboard news website that said T-Mobile, US, Inc., Sprint Corp., and AT&T “are selling access to their customers’ location data, and that data is ending up in the hands of bounty hunters and others not authorized to possess it, letting them track most phones in the country” (TR Daily, Jan. 9). Continue reading

Wireless Industry Wants FCC to Adopt Z-Axis Metric

CTIA and national wireless carriers want the FCC to adopt a z-axis, or vertical, 911 indoor location accuracy standard in the near term rather than waiting for additional testing, as the industry had previously suggested, a CTIA representative told the National Public Safety Telecommunications Council during a quarterly meeting of the federation held today.

Public safety entities have expressed their opposition to a z-axis standard proposed last August by the four nationwide wireless carriers, saying that more precise accuracy is crucial and possible.

For its part, CTIA had said the Commission should not adopt the standard and should instead allow the industry to conduct further testing (TR Daily, Oct. 1, 2018).  Verizon Communications, Inc., told the FCC that it would be “premature” for the agency to adopt the z-axis standard proposed by the carriers, saying that additional time would allow “further testing on alternative Z-axis solutions that would improve on Z-axis accuracy” (TR Daily, Sept. 28, 2018).

In the industry proposal, which was submitted by an FCC-mandated deadline that was set in a 2015 order (TR Daily, Jan. 29, 2015), the carriers recommended a z-axis metric “of +/- 5 meters for 80% of fixes from mobile devices capable of delivering barometric pressure sensor-based altitude estimates” (TR Daily, Aug. 7, 2018).

The industry proposal was included in a cover letter to a report on the results of indoor location accuracy testing conducted by a test bed established by CTIA on behalf of the industry. The report recommended additional testing.

But NPSTC and other public safety entities have said the industry proposal falls short and that a more precise z-axis metric should be adopted by the FCC. Public safety entities have called for floor-level accuracy, and no more than +/- 3 meters.

During a presentation at today’s NPSTC meeting, which was held via teleconference, Matt Gerst, assistant vice president-regulatory affairs for CTIA, said, “Public safety wants a more aggressive metric. We understand that. The industry wants certainty as to what that metric will be.”

He said that CTIA and representatives from the four national carriers met with FCC officials last month “and told the FCC that we thought it was time for them to move in the near term to adopt a metric that would help advance the development process for z-axis technology.”

“We still want to see solutions demonstrate the ability to consistently deliver results, but we’re open to the FCC moving forward on a metric soon to make sure that everybody has the certainty as to, you know, what exactly we are striving for,” Mr. Gerst added.  He also said that improvements in location accuracy have already been seen and additional ones are expected in the near future.

Mr. Gerst said the carriers proposed the +/- 5 meter standard due to challenges in replicating a more precise standard in a live 911 calling environment with only two vendors that participated in the testing coordinated by CTIA.

In CTIA’s ex parte filing in PS docket 07-114 on last month’s meeting with FCC officials, the trade group said, “While further testing remains necessary to validate the accuracy of vertical location technology solutions across regions, morphologies, weather conditions and devices, the participants noted that certainty as to the Z-Axis metric in the near term, whether via an Order or expeditiously seeking public comment, may help advance the development process necessary to meet the 2021 and 2023 vertical location accuracy benchmarks in the Fourth Report & Order. As previously noted in the record, the participants expect that new and emerging vertical location technologies including, for example, 3D WiFi, could support a more accurate Z-Axis metric and may be scalable to meet the benchmarks. To that end, the participants encouraged the Commission to ensure that the adopted Z-Axis metric is technologically neutral, consistent with the approach the Commission has typically taken. Further, the participants noted that the Test Bed LLC is evaluating whether additional Z-Axis testing can be accelerated in 2019 as wireless providers will need to validate whether a technology solution can achieve the metric consistent with Fourth Report & Order.”

During today’s CTIA presentation, Mr. Gerst also noted that CTIA announced last September that all four nationwide wireless carriers planned to deploy device-based hybrid (DBH) location technology solutions by the end of 2018, although some have deployed the technology for years (TR Daily, Sept. 5, 2018). “That announcement was met with general support,” said Mr. Gerst. He added that CTIA and its member companies believe that innovation in this space is healthy and welcome other announcements on device-based solutions.

One question that has been raised about DBH location technology is whether it will be effective in power outages.

In response to that question at today’s meeting, John Marinho, CTIA’s vice president-cybersecurity and technology, said that various solutions “are all layered on top of each other” and thus others would still work in power outages. He also said devices could retain information they had received from Wi-Fi or Bluetooth access points before power went out or was turned off for safety purposes. He said the industry has not conducted testing on the impact of power outages on DBH solutions.

Mr. Gerst also said the industry has made progress by adding more than 17 million reference points to the National Emergency Address Database (NEAD). But he said about 30 million reference points are needed for the industry to meet the FCC’s 2021 deadline to deliver information from the NEAD and provide dispatchable locations in the top 25 markets.

Also at today’s meeting, the NPSTC Governing Board appointed Kevin McGinnis, a former member of the First Responder Network Authority’s (FirstNet) board, the chair of the NPSTC EMS working group. He replaces Paul Patrick, a new member of the FirstNet board. The NPSTC board also closed its UAS robotics working group and moved its video technology advisory group to a monitoring status. The next NPSTC meeting is expected to be held in May. —Paul Kirby, paul.kirby@wolterskluwer.com

Courtesy TRDaily

AT&T: FirstNet Connections Increase 60% Since October

AT&T, Inc., announced today that there are now more than 425,000 connections at more than 5,250 public safety agencies on the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) system. The number of connections is up 60% since last October.

AT&T said in a news release that it has deployed public safety Band 14 in more than 500 markets. Last year, it said, it “increased the LTE coverage area for the AT&T and FirstNet public safety communications platform by more than 50,000 square miles nationwide, covering an additional 1 million individuals.”

Chris Sambar, AT&T’s senior vice president-FirstNet, said that AT&T now covers more than 40% of its “Band 14 rural and non-rural coverage targets. That’s about a 10% jump in the FirstNet square miles covered since last October,” he added.

“The demand for data has been on a nonstop, upward trajectory for years,” said Marachel Knight, AT&T’s SVP-wireless and access engineering, construction and operations. “Our ongoing work to launch new sites and build out our LTE network is delivering increased network speeds and capacity. By the end of this year, we expect our network capacity to increase by 50% since the end of 2017 while simultaneously laying the foundation for a 5G future.”

AT&T said its three areas of focus in building the FirstNet system are connecting responders in rural and remote areas, increasing capacity in urban areas, and introducing innovated offerings.

“FirstNet is advancing quickly – both in terms of progress and adoption. It’s an incredible testament to the need first responders have for a dedicated, purpose-built network as well as the unparalleled capabilities FirstNet has already delivered. We are looking forward to the further expansion of FirstNet in the year ahead and will continue to work closely with first responders and AT&T to ensure FirstNet is being built to their specifications – coverage and capacity included,” said acting FirstNet Chief Executive Officer Ed Parkinson. “With the Band 14 buildout validated thus far, we’re pleased that more first responders in rural and urban areas have even more access to the connectivity and modern communications tools they need.”- Paul Kirby, paul.kirby@wolterskluwer.com

Courtesy TRDaily

Rosenworcel Calls for Probe of Location Data Access

FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel said in a tweet that the FCC should conduct an investigation in the wake of a story by the Motherboard news website that said “T-Mobile, Sprint, and AT&T are selling access to their customers’ location data, and that data is ending up in the hands of bounty hunters and others not authorized to possess it, letting them track most phones in the country.”   In another tweet on the story, Sen. Ron Wyden (D., Ore.) said, “Disturbing details from @motherboard on how wireless carriers are selling the location data of Americans. This is a nightmare for national security and the personal safety of anyone with a phone.”

Courtesy TRDaily