28 July, 2016

RD435 - ETNO comments on draft ECC Report 255

Comments on draft ECC report 255 “the use of assisted-global navigation satellite system (A-GNSS) capabilities to improve caller location information for emergency calls originating on mobile devices

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1.1 ETNO's general view

In ETNO's view, the proposed evolution of techniques for the provision of improved caller location information to the PSAPs has to take into consideration the existing 112 technical solutions deployed at national level, in order to get clear requirements and impacts.

Existing 112 emergency solutions – which satisfy the requirements of the European regulatory framework – are based on location information provisions that are synchronised with 112 telephone calls to the PSAPs; the reliability and accuracy of location information is regulated nationally and in general requires that location information is provided and validated by an operator.

In general, the delivery of terminal-based satellite positioning information has to be considered transparent for network operators; that is without any responsibility for mobile operators regarding the validity of the location and its synchronised delivery to the PSAPs.

The delivery of satellite-based location information (at present GPS-based and in the future also Galileo-based) to the PSAPs should be transparent for network operators, also considering that no specific standard mechanisms have been defined to assure this delivery. A possible solution could be for the national Administrations responsible of PSAPs to make available specific software-based applications that could be installed directly by end users on their smartphones.

It also has to be considered that GNSS-based positioning information is in principle a “best effort” location information without any guarantee regarding its availability and reliability, since it mainly depends on the terminal equipment configuration by the end user and the satellite signal visibility (for instance GNSS positioning is not available inside buildings or in covered places); this could be, in some cases, enhanced based on WiFi location information (this can be done via various solutions and it is possible also via AML solution).

In general, considering the requirements of the European regulatory framework on operators for the provision of accurate and reliable caller location information for 112 emergency calls, the network operators will continue to provide PSAPs with the existing and validated network-based location information (usually it is “cell-id” information). If the PSAPs provide to the end users appropriate applications for GNSS-based location delivery (also AML based), these applications will have to be completely transparent for the network operators. The information from the operators and the applications can be used in a complementary way by the PSAPs. It is a logical trend to use accurate satellite information available in the handsets for localisation to respond to the European regulatory requirements. The solution for accurate localisation should not come only from the mobile operators. Other complementary solutions should be considered.

However, if the EC objective is to improve the accuracy in charge of operators of reliable and validated network-provided caller location information respect to the actual “cell-id” information, only solutions that integrate terminal-based GNSS capabilities with reliable and validated information provided by mobile networks should be considered. In that case it should be analysed more in detail how operators can contribute best to this solution as the use of satellite information and the mobile handsets are outside their control.

These Assisted-GNSS solutions will require beforehand standardisation activities by ETSI/3GPP regarding the dialogue between terminal equipment and mobile networks (especially a revision of the ETSI Technical Specification 124 008).

In particular, ECC could consider the possibility of recommending specific ETSI/3GPP activities on these issues in order to develop a unique and interoperable technical solution, integrating terminal equipment with public networks capabilities.

Current analysis in the ECC document is excessively high level. A more detailed analysis could reveal benefits for each different solutions available. Also AML or other alternatives could be subject to standardisation and should be analysed more in detail.

ECC should also make clear in the Report the intrinsic “best effort” and transparent nature (with respect to public network operators) of autonomous terminal-based GNSS location delivery to PSAPs; this autonomous terminal-based GNSS location delivery to PSAPs should be considered an independent and additional location information regarding the reliable and validated network provided location information for 112 emergency calls.


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