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FCC mandates GPS for all phones by 2018
|06 октября 2011|
The Federal Communications Commission will require all operators (including voice-over-IP service providers) to integrate GPS by 2018, a move designed to enable first responders to more accurately pinpoint the location of 911 emergency calls.
Based on current adoption rates, the FCC estimates that even without the new rules, 85 percent of mobile phone users will carry GPS-capable devices by the 2018 cutoff date, effectively minimizing compliance concerns. In addition, the FCC did not establish a sunset deadline for phasing out handsets without GPS integration--at present, officials must rely on triangulation between cell towers to determine the location of 911 calls from phones without GPS.
Mobile operator networks are currently required to provide the location of 911 calls via GPS or tower triangulation, but VoIP-based 911 calls are treated like landline calls because many subscriber handsets are leftovers from landline services. The advent of mobile-enabled VoIP services is behind the FCC's rule change: In the event of a 911 call, the registered location may not necessarily correspond with the caller's physical whereabouts, a discrepancy which becomes even more significant if the caller should become incapacitated.