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Cellular Specialties’ Co-Pilot Beacon provides location-based solution for simulcast CDMA DAS
A desperate wireless 9-1-1 call is received, but the first responders can’t help the caller due to lack of very specific, targeted information regarding the location of the emergency caller. Without the location, the responders can’t reach the caller—and can’t save lives. An estimated 50 percent of the millions of 9-1-1 calls received today by public safety personnel are placed from wireless phones. Now there is an innovative new solution to better ensure the safety of those callers using wireless 9-1-1.
Cellular Specialties, Inc. (CSI), a recognized leader in the design and implementation of in-building wireless products and solutions, has unveiled its new Co-Pilot Beacon Transmitter. It is among the first devices to meet the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Phase II rules for pinpointing the location of cell phone callers to improve emergency response times—indoors or outdoors.
FCC’s wireless enhanced 9-1-1 (E9-1-1) rules aim to improve both the effectiveness and reliability of wireless 9-1-1 services and provide emergency dispatchers with additional information on 9-1-1 calls, specifically call origination location.
During Phase I of the project, wireless carriers were tasked with providing the telephone number of the originator and the location of the cell tower transmitting the call. These standards become more stringent with Phase II, which now tasks carriers with providing the specific longitude and latitude information of the originating call. The new mandates go into effect just as carriers have seen an explosion in wireless 9-1-1 calls. According to the FCC, the number of 9-1-1 calls by people on wireless phones has dramatically increased.
CSI’s Co-Pilot Beacon is the market’s first viable location-based solution for simulcast Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) Distributed Antenna Systems (DAS). The product is designed to improve location accuracy of cell phones and wireless devices both indoors and outdoors. By placing Co-Pilot Beacons in select locations, mobile devices can now reliably receive fixed location references that allow the network to better determine a handset or cell phone’s specific location.
This newly culled information can then be used to aid the GPS receiver in acquiring signals if they are present, or it can be used directly as a position report until more accurate information becomes available. The Co-Pilot Beacon offers 100 percent handset compatibility with all CDMA phones. It also has the ability to optimize location resolution for the needs of the site by adjusting the number of Co-Pilot Beacons installed. The solution is compatible with virtually all indoor and outdoor repeater/DAS solutions and offers full coverage for all of a provider’s CDMA channels from a single Co-Pilot Beacon.
Published in Public Safety IT, May/Jun 2010
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