Andy Seybold’s Public Safety Advocate, April 18, 2019

Updates on What Public Safety Needs from Congress. This week APCO sent out an email asking for all of us to support the 9-1-1 Saves Act. This bill will upgrade 9-1-1 professionals and reclassify them as Protective Service employees. This should have been done years ago and I hope the re-designation will carry forward to non-sworn public safety dispatchers. There is a link for this important bill and a guide for you to follow on how to notify your U.S. Senators and Representatives, so please do so.

This is only one of the significant pieces of legislation that should be passed by Congress and signed into law. The issues I am concerned about include the T-Band, NG911, and 4.9 GHz if the FCC doesn’t leave it alone. The most recent bill introduced in the House replaces H.R.3994, which was passed in 2018 but died in the Senate where no vote was taken. This year it is back as H.R.1328 and must once again make the rounds.

I believe H.R.1328 is of vital interest to the public safety community. It is the Access Broadband Act that would create a single organization for tracking and helping implement rural and poverty-level broadband. Today there are numerous federal and state agencies involved in grants and loans, but there seems to be a serious lack of coordination. The Access Broadband Act is extremely important to rural broadband coverage and as such should be supported by the public safety community. Currently, its odds of gaining passage are slight unless more sponsors from both parties join the effort.
Read the Entire Column Here. 

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Andy Seybold’s Public Safety Advocate, April 4, 2019

Milestones and More.  Last week marks the two-year anniversary of the FirstNet award to AT&T. It also marks a full year since the Public Safety core (heart of the network) was turned on. If you map this two-year anniversary against the FirstNet Authority Operational Capability (IOC) description of the project, last week also marked the end of IOC-3, which was expected to be completed by the end of twenty-four months.

OC-3 contains many milestones in and of itself. For example, by the end of IOC-3, the local control application (portal) should be complete, the core should be complete, devices Phase 3 should be complete, and achievement of 50-percent of contractor’s IOC-5 public safety device connection target should be attained. This last point is not discernable from the outside since FirstNet the Authority did not specify the number of connections, rather the number was determined by each bidder. However, it appears to me, like with most of the IOC-3 requirements, FirstNet (Built with AT&T) has already blown past IOC-5 in addition to most of the IOC-3 requirements.

There still remain issues, especially concerning coverage as public safety agencies continue to monitor FirstNet progress. Once more, I need to remind people that had AT&T not offered up all of its existing LTE spectrum and then begun augmenting it with public safety Band 14 spectrum, and a bidder had simply planned on building out the entire network on Band 14, we would not yet have attained today’s level of coverage nor would we have pre-emption except on Band 14. So, while there are still some issues with coverage, much of what we have today was not even planned to be available until one, two, or even three years further down the road. Read the Entire Column Here .

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Florida’s Riviera Beach Police, Fire Rescue Deploy Smartphones via FirstNet

MissionCritical Apr  4 10:05

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Riviera Beach Police and Fire Rescue in Florida announced it is transitioning to the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) public-safety broadband network. read more

Utility’s In-Car Video System Certified as FirstNet Ready

MissionCritical Apr  4 10:05

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Utility, a law enforcement technology company, announced that its Rocket IoT XLE is an AT&T FirstNet Ready certified device on the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) network. read more

FCC Sets Stage for Next Spectrum Incentive Auction at April Open Meeting

JD Supra Mar 28 10:15

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The FCC anticipates retaining OTARD rule exceptions for state, local, and private restrictions on antennas based on public safety issues or historic …

Fixed wireless and mobile hotspots lead first wave of 5G

RCR Wireless News Mar 28 10:15

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Fixed wireless and mobile hotspots lead first wave of 5G …

  1. Korea launches 5G smartphone networks ahead of schedule

Federal News Radio 1500AM Apr  4 11:00

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South Korea’s telecommunications carriers have turned on super-fast 5G mobile internet networks abruptly ahead of schedule in an attempt to ensure the country becomes the first in the world to launch the services The post S. Korea launches 5G smartphone networks ahead of schedule appeared first on Federal News Network .

Samsung’s Multi-Mode Exynos Chipsets Help Bring the 5G Era to Mobile Consumers

Yahoo News Apr  4 10:55

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Exynos Modem 5100 is Samsung’s first 5G modem solution that had …

Verizon launches its mobile 5G network in parts of Chicago and Minneapolis, with a 5G-enabled

Techmeme Apr  4 10:55

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#5G availability starts today in Chicago & Minneapolis from @verizon. 1st phone is Motorola z3 with 5G moto mod…

AT&T and Sprint’s 5G Legal Dispute Illustrates the Ways of Wireless

D Magazine Apr  4 10:50

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Let’s take first things first: Regardless of what your phone might be telling you, you aren’t on 5G yet. It’s not possible. Most of the equipment isn’t up, …

DSA brings together leaders at 2019 Summit

BusinessGhana Apr  4 10:35

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… and high-band spectrum available on a shared and dynamic basis to address accelerating demand for the full range of next generation narrowband …

Motorola is preparing a smartphone with quad rear cameras and a 48MP sensor

XDA Developers Apr  4 10:35

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Considering Motorola just became the first company to allow its consumers to connect to a commercial 5G network, it would be wrong to call it lagging …

Virtual RANs Simplify Administration and Increase Flexibility

Dataconomy Apr  4 10:30

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Test environments for 5G mobile networks exist already. …

Keysight’s 5G Test Solutions and Qualcomm Snapdragon X55 5G Modem Establish Mobile …

EE Journal Apr  4 10:15

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This industry milestone was achieved using Qualcomm Technologies’ second-generation Snapdragon X55 5G modem with integrated multi-mode …

CCA Partners with Parallel Wireless to Provide End-to-End Network Solutions for Mobile Operators

PR Newswire Apr  4 10:10

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World’s First Virtualized Open RAN to Deliver Profitability and Cost-effectively Enable 4G Expansion and Migration to 5G NASHUA, N.H. and WASHINGTON, April 4, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Parallel Wireless, Inc., the leader in providing the world’s first software-based unified end-to-end ALL G…

CTIA Report Says U.S. Catches China in 5G Readiness

MissionCritical Apr  4 10:05

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A new 5G summary by CTIA said that the United States is tied with China in 5G readiness, moving up from a year ago when the U.S. lagged behind China and South Korea. read more

New Intel CEO dishes on 5G, more acquisitions and moving his 50-year-old company forward

MassHighTech Apr  4 10:05

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Bob Swan was promoted to the California semiconductor giant’s top role in February after serving as executive vice president and CFO since October 2016. He told a Phoenix audience that Intel can no longer take an ‘insular’ market approach.

Report: Intel will miss its deadline to deliver a 5G modem to Apple, putting 5G iPhone in jeopardy

MassHighTech Apr  4 10:05

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Santa Clara-based Intel Corp. is racing to develop a 5G-capable mobile modem chip this year, but will likely miss a key deadline to get the chip to Apple Inc. in time, putting the company’s 5G iPhone in jeopardy, Fast Company reports, citing an unnamed source. Meanwhile, Apple has reportedly assembled a team of between 1,000 and 1,200 engineers to design its own 5G modem. That effort is still in its early stages, which means Apple might enter the 2020 holiday sales season without a 5G-capable…

5G era for smartphones has begun

Seeking Alpha Apr  4 09:55

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It’s unclear which country struck first, but Verizon has launched 5G wireless service in parts of Chicago and Minneapolis, while carriers in South Korea …

4×4 mimo the performance boost for lte

Creutz coaching and consulting Apr  4 09:40

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MIMO system enables 5G performance on LTE networks. …

Motorola Wins the Race to First 5G Smartphone in the World

Gizmodo UK Apr  4 09:30

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The 5G version of the Samsung Galaxy S10 goes on sale in South Korea tomorrow, but Motorola has just pipped it to the post by making the Moto Mod …

Samsung begins mass production of its 5G chipsets

SamMobile Apr  4 09:15

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Samsung has begun the mass production of its 5G multi-mode chipsets for next-generation 5G smartphones. The company’s latest 5G communication …

5G Broadcast Solution to Transmit Media Content Directly to Smartphone Users

everything RF Apr  4 08:55

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Reaching billions of smartphones will be the future of broadcasting in line with ATSC and 3GPP. As a part of the Bavarian research project ‘5G …

Norway offers to postpone 5G frequency payments to boost investment

Reuters Apr  4 07:45

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Norway will offer telecoms operators to postpone payments for mobile phone frequencies, including 5G networks, in return for investment commitments, the government said on Thursday.

Samsung Galalxy A50 review: Premium experience at a mid-range price point

Economic Times Apr  4 07:40

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… Galaxy S10 phones, 5G smartphone, Galaxy buds and smartwatches. …

China Mobile Hong Kong and Sino Group Jointly Present Hong Kong’s First In-Mall 5G Experience …

ACROFAN USA Mar 28 10:25

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Dr Li Feng, Chairman of China Mobile Hong Kong (CMHK), said, ‘We are very pleased to work with Sino Group in developing the first 5G showcase, …

Senate Panel Schedules Robocall Hearing

The Senate communications, technology, innovation, and the Internet subcommittee has scheduled an April 11 hearing to examine the FCC’s first report on robocalls and to “review the steps Congress is currently taking to provide consumers relief from illegal robocalls.”  Scheduled witnesses are Nebraska Attorney General Doug Peterson; Kevin Rupy, a partner in law firm of Wiley Rein LLP, representing the U.S. Telecom Association; and Margot Saunders, counsel for the National Consumer Law Center.  The hearing is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. in Room 216 of the Hart Senate Office Building.

Courtesy TRDaily


Andy Seybold’s Public Safety Advocate, March 28, 2019

Return of FirstNet Authority and More. Sounds like a strange title until you realize that once the contract was awarded to AT&T to build and maintain the network, those in the field deploying the FirstNet network kept up the pace while the organization’s management seemed to disappear into obscurity. However, at the FirstNet Authority board of directors’ meetings last week, the acting CEO and the board developed a plan to move forward proactively in many new and positive ways.

Ed Parkinson, acting CEO and long-time public safety supporter, has done a great job putting together this plan and the board has responded in a positive way. There have been several times when the FirstNet Authority has been slowed by circumstances not under its control. The first incidence, in late 2013, slowed progress by almost a full year. In the latest case, there was not a CEO or President to drive it forward and the board of directors was short a few members. Now we have a full board and, from what I have seen, an acting CEO with a vision of where The FirstNet Authority needs to go, how to help continue building out the network, and identifying additional pieces and parts that make sense.

Instead of The FirstNet Authority management simply watching over the contract vendor, the new plan is to include the public safety community as more of a partner in this private/public partnership. Edward Horowitz, chairman of the FirstNet board, is quoted as saying at the meeting, “As we strive to fully realize the promise of FirstNet, we are engaging with public safety to chart a path forward for the network. Using their feedback, our Roadmap will advance the network and guide our investments over the next several years and beyond.” Read the Entire Column Here . Continue reading

Andy Seybold’s Public Safety Advocate, March 21, 2019

Drive Tests, IWCE, and Palmyra Atoll.  After a two-week interruption in my scheduled Advocates, this one will hopefully serve to get back on schedule and to convey what we have been doing and why. First up is that Michael Britt and I drove to a number of areas in southern Arizona, then into California, and finally to Las Vegas and back to Phoenix. We were drive testing using the Sierra Wireless MG90 installed in my car to measure FirstNet and Verizon coverage along this route. The results and some of the maps that were generated are discussed below. Next came the IWCE Conference, once again well done. This year we decided to begin offering our “best of show” selections, also listed below.

One day after returning home, Linda and I left for Hawaii, where she stayed in Honolulu for the week I flew down to the Palmyra Atoll, about 1,000 miles and worlds away from Hawaii. This Atoll was used during WWII as a gun emplacement but is now jointly owned by the federal government and a non-profit preservation organization. The Atoll is being returned to its original state, which means eradicating thousands of coconut palm trees and other non-indigenous foliage. Our task is to review and recommend replacement of their older communications systems with a new Atoll-wide Land Mobile Radio (LMR) system, new marine and aviation radio equipment, some newer radar, and other items.

While the Palmyra Atoll is an unincorporated U.S. Territory, FirstNet will not build there. The average population on the island is about eight people, swelling to twenty-four, and falling to as low as four, depending on the time of year. I took my Sonim XP8 since I was told the Atoll is not gentle with electronics because of the rain (144 inches a year) and very high humidity. While there is no cell coverage on the Atoll, there is some WiFi and an older satellite service. Using ESChat PTT (Push-To-Talk), I was able to communicate with several people on the mainland. The XP8 came through the test of the weather and humidity perfectly. Planning a new communications system will be a real challenge but rewarding.

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FCC Proposes Z-Axis Accuracy Metric for 911 Calls

The FCC adopted a fourth further notice of proposed rulemaking today proposing a Z-axis, or vertical, location accuracy metric for wireless 911 calls. Commissioners took the action over the dissent of Democratic Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel, who said the item didn’t go far enough in assuring that first responders would be able to locate 911 callers.

The item in PS docket 07-114 proposes a Z-axis metric “of plus or minus three meters relative to the handset for 80% of indoor wireless 911 calls,” the agency noted in a news release. “The Commission tentatively concluded that such a location accuracy metric — within three meters above or below the phone — would be sufficiently accurate to identify the caller’s floor level in most cases and would be technically feasible under the timeframes established in the Commission’s Enhanced 911 rules.”  Carriers would have to meet that metric or be capable of enabling dispatchable location.

National carriers would have to achieve the five-meter metric by 2021 in the top 25 cellular market areas (CMAs) and by 2023 in the largest 50 CMAs. Non-nationwide carriers would have an extra year to meet benchmarks.

Last year, national wireless carriers recommended a z-axis metric of plus or minus five meters (TR Daily, Aug. 7, 2018). The carriers were required to submit a recommendation pursuant to a 911 location accuracy order adopted in 2015 (TR Daily, Jan. 29, 2015).

But public safety entities said the industry proposal fell short and  favored a more precise z-axis metric of at least plus or minus three meters.

“I don’t think this is ambitious enough,” Commissioner Rosenworcel said of the three-meter metric.  “In the years since this framework was put in place, technology has evolved.  It has improved.  Our record reflects it is possible to locate 911 callers with more precision — and I think we should be able to do it in less time all across the country.  The truth is a 3-meter policy does not provide public safety with precise floor location.  As the text of the rulemaking acknowledges, it does not yield floor-level accuracy.  I think that’s a problem.  … We should choose standards that without fail provide floor level accuracy.  When police or firefighters show up in an emergency, the last thing they should have to do is take out a measuring tape.  They need a standard that tells them precisely where you are.

“I appreciate that this rulemaking has evolved since it was first put forward,” Ms. Rosenworcel added. “It now includes a discrete question about floor levels.  It also asks questions about privacy.  But on the most fundamental level, it is organized around standards that unquestionably fall short of what first responders require to keep us safe.  The fact is we need real precision if we want to be able to locate with floor-level accuracy every 911 call — and we need it fast.  And on this score this rulemaking misses the mark.  I regretfully dissent.”

Her fellow Democrat, Commissioner Geoffrey Starks, approved in part and concurred in part.

“While a 3-meter z-axis metric, as this FNPRM proposes, will get first responders close, it still leaves about a 10-foot margin of error, which can send first responders to the floor above or below you. I’m concurring in part because this FNPRM does not set out a clear path or propose a plan to get to a greater level of accuracy than 3-meters,” Mr. Starks said. “Only floor level accuracy will give first responders the right tools to go to the right floor, the first time, every time. We need a plan to get there and that plan has to get it done as quickly as possible. The days where first responders don’t know what floor of a tall building a call for help is coming from must become history.”

The Commissioner added that he “had several other concerns about this FNPRM, as it was originally drafted. The first is whether the vertical location technology described in the FNPRM will work for consumers who use the Commission’s Lifeline program. The FNPRM describes barometric pressure sensor technology, used in most higher-end mobile handsets manufactured since 2016, that can provide information about the handset’s altitude. This technology can be lifesaving if your phone has it. But, do Lifeline phones have it?’ … The FNPRM before us includes questions that I called for about this concern.

“My other concern has to with data privacy and security. The rules on which this FNPRM seeks comment allow carriers to comply with vertical location accuracy requirements in two ways, through z-axis technology, as this FNPRM addresses, or through delivery of ‘dispatchable location information’ which is essentially the caller’s address and floor or suite number if they are in a tall building. Carriers have developed technology to obtain dispatchable location information using wireless networks that users’ phones connect to when a 911 call is made,” the Commissioner said.

“Recognizing the high degree of location accuracy that this technology delivers, however, the Commission adopted rules specifically limiting use of data from the National Emergency Address Database, or NEAD, to 911 calls. The Commission also required industry to develop a privacy and security plan for this data. I’m glad that this FNPRM now asks important questions about the appropriate treatment of similarly situated z-axis data and whether rules like those the Commission adopted for NEAD data should apply,” he said. “We need to build protections in to make sure that consumer’s sensitive location data is not misused, like we have been reading about in the news. I appreciate my colleagues agreeing with me that these questions should be included.”

“While the wireless industry initially advocated for a five-meter z-axis metric, it recognized that the public safety community was not in agreement and, to provide certainty, is willing to test a three-meter metric in the established test bed,” Commissioner Mike O’Rielly said. “Currently, two vendors appear capable of providing vertical location accuracy results within three meters in some scenarios with a consistency that would comply with our rules.  Early test bed results, however, do not support a two-meter z-axis metric, which was supported by some in the record.  I plan on following this issue closely and will want to see that there is solid evidence to ensure that the metric the Commission eventually picks is feasible in the applicable timeframes.

“Further, I applaud the efforts of the wireless industry to perfect technologies capable of providing accurate vertical location.  Besides z-axis technologies, the industry continues to work on the database to make dispatchable location — or providing an address along with floor, apartment or suite number — a reality.  Device manufacturers are also working on technologies to provide accurate location information.  I reiterate my firm belief that we must promote technological neutrality and that wireless providers should have a choice of solutions and vendors that they can utilize to meet our rules,” Mr. O’Rielly added.

“In light of recent press reports, I will also restate my concern that location accuracy information should not be used in any way to infringe on the rights of American citizens.  This location accuracy proceeding is about providing first responders with life-saving information, not a vehicle to aggregate location information that can be provided to others.  This data should not be made available for use by government agencies to locate, monitor, or take actions that are harmful to Americans,” Mr. O’Rielly said.

He added that he appreciates “the questions added by the new Office of Economics and Analytics to facilitate a more thorough cost-benefit analysis.  I am very pleased that, although there is discussion of the Commission’s past use of the flawed value of a statistical life standard, the item seeks to elicit data on the various z-axis options presented in the record so that we can do an appropriate cost-benefit analysis to inform the Commission’s decision making.”

“Originally, the wireless industry proposed that our vertical location accuracy metric should be plus or minus 5 meters,” FCC Chairman Ajit Pai noted. “But based on the results of the tests that have been conducted to date as well as the input of public safety officials, I believe that a more stringent proposal is justified, and I have every expectation that our proposal will give our nation’s first responders the information they need to save lives.”

“Given the state of the technology, the wireless providers proposed that we require height accuracy data to be reported to PSAPs within five meters. The public safety community rejected this, arguing that three-meter accuracy is technically feasible and would allow first-responders to get to the right floor the first time in many more cases. We sided with the public safety community,” Commissioner Brendan Carr said. “Furthermore, we preserved the option to choose an even more stringent standard than three-meter accuracy based on the record that develops. I look forward to additional submissions from technologists educating the Commission on the feasibility of the height standards we consider between this Notice and the order.”

“Wireless providers have made significant progress enhancing 9-1-1 location accuracy capabilities and continue to develop and evaluate innovative solutions. We are encouraged by the FCC’s efforts to provide certainty around expectations and requirements to deliver vertical location information, such as z-axis,” said Matt Gerst, vice president-regulatory affairs for CTIA.

Dan Henry, director-government relations for NENA, said his group “applauds the FCC’s adoption of an NPRM on vertical location-accuracy metrics. 9-1-1 location-accuracy improvements — especially those that allow 9-1-1 to dispatch field responders to a specific floor in a building — will enable more exact emergency response and save countless lives when implemented. NENA thanks the FCC for its continued leadership on this critical issue.”

“Public safety appreciates and commends Chairman Pai pushing this FNPRM,” a public safety veteran told TR Daily in an e-mail. “In public safety’s view, 3 meters is certainly preferable to the carriers’ proposal of 5 meters and moves the needle in the right direction towards getting more precise vertical location accuracy. Plus or minus 5 meters can result in several floors above or below where the caller may be. This is unacceptable to public safety. Ultimately, public safety wants same floor accuracy which in many situations may be less than 3 meters. Commissioner Rosenworcel dissented, calling for the same floor. We agree that ‘same floor’ accuracy is the ultimate goal, but I hope commissioners don’t let perfect be the enemy of the good, and I’m concerned that if the FCC were to reject the 3 meter requirement in the Notice, we could potentially have no vertical requirement. … A final rule should call for the same floor but set 3 meters initially but require carriers to do better as technology advances and readdress the z-axis in a set timeframe.”

Harold Feld, senior vice president of Public Knowledge, said his organization applauds “the FCC for taking allegations that carriers have both misused, and failed to adequately protect, information collected under the previous Enhanced 911 (E911) geolocation mandate seriously by addressing these privacy concerns in the FNPRM. We especially appreciate Commissioner Starks’ work to champion this issue on behalf of consumers.

“We welcome the FCC’s move to ensure that carriers protect this geolocation information, and hope the agency will consider whether new precautions should be required to shield consumer privacy,” Mr. Feld added. “Just as agency silence translates to the sound of the dinner bell to unethical location services and to carriers eager to sell out their customers, agency action sends a clear warning that carriers must embrace their responsibilities or face real consequences. We hope the FCC will quickly conclude its investigation into the current allegations, and we look forward to working with the FCC to improve the protection of sensitive geolocation data intended for first responders.”- Paul Kirby,

Courtesy TRDaily