TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Satellite GPS Can Locate Wireless Phones Within 15 Feet

Re: Satellite GPS Can Locate Wireless Phones Within 15 Feet

Geoffrey Welsh (reply@newsgroup.please)
Tue, 6 Dec 2005 11:35:02 -0500 wrote:

> [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: I have been told GPS does not work that
> well _inside a house or an office_; that its optimal use is when
> attached to an outside thing. Most VOIP set ups are indoors, are they
> not? What advantage and disadvantage would there be to equipping VOIP
> terminal adapters either with a small antenna capable of receiving GPS
> coordinates (although you might have to mount the GPS receiver either
> next to a window or preferably _outside_ with a wire running in to the
> TA itself)?

How many people would do it? Not many, I fear.

> Or, another approach might be for the TA unit to 'listen'
> for '911' being dialed, and then instantly breaking the connection and
> redialing 911 via a landline phone nearby?

I know many people who don't have landlines because they use cellphones;
surely many VOIP users won't have landlines, either.

Maybe the FCC should mandate extremely low-cost 'emergency only'

> Or, have the 911 interception be done at the local ISP (whose lines
> you were on anyway) and have the ISP forward your call to the local
> 911 authorities along with its records of who you were, where you
> were at, etc? PAT]

If you never moved from your original ISP, your VOIP provider would already
have your address and be able to provide it to the 911 authorities... and
that would be simpler (& cheaper) than having ISPs intercept calls.

How about having TAs that 'remember' their last GPS reading (e.g. in
NVRAM)? When in buildings where GPS doesn't work, it would at least
remember the position of the entrance to the building. There are
situations where the TA would be shielded from GPS for long distances
(e.g. subway rides) and, if the user doesn't need to step outside
after those trips, this locating system would not work. I leave it as
an exercise for the reader to determine whether this is more effective
or more harmful than any other proposal (or the status quo.)

Geoffrey Welsh <Geoffrey [dot] Welsh [at] bigfoot [dot] com>
Never leave until tomorrow what can wait until next week.

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