38 Years of the Digest ... founded August 21, 1981
Copyright © 2019 E. William Horne. All Rights Reserved.

The Telecom Digest for Thu, 27 Feb 2020
Volume 39 : Issue 44 : "text" format

Table of contents
Re: 911 operators couldn't trace the locationHAncock4
911 operators couldn't trace the locationDavid
Thanks, Qualcomm: Mandatory 5G means phones now ship with disabled 5G modemsMonty Solomon
Please send posts to telecom-digest.org, with userid set to telecomdigestsubmissions, or via Usenet to comp.dcom.telecom
The Telecom Digest is made possible by generous supporters like Neal McLain
---------------------------------------------------------------------- Message-ID: <53f3d64a-675b-4cf0-a399-71bd3eb2f486@googlegroups.com> Date: 26 Feb 2020 11:52:50 -0800 From: HAncock4 <withheld@invalid.telecom-digest.org> Subject: Re: 911 operators couldn't trace the location On Tuesday, February 25, 2020 at 10:24:20 PM UTC-5, Telecom Digest Moderator wrote: > ***** Moderator's Note ***** > I didn't know that the GPS in a cell phone could be disabled. When > did that start? Who can do it? On my plain cell phone, I may disable the GPS so that other people may not see where I am. However, I cannot disable it to prevent the cops from tracking me. I should note that for cops to be able to track someone's cell phone location, they need to have upgraded equipment to do so. Not all departments invested the money to do this. My feeling is that if someone is in any kind of trouble needing 911 help, they should attempt if at all possible, to know as much as their specific location to pass it along to the 911 operator. Hopefully other people would be around who could provide assistance, especially in a large building. Some large organizations have trained their security staff on how to handle 911 emergencies, such [as] having doors wide open, having elevators on standby, and directing rescue personnel to the specific spot to save time. Big help. But not all places do this. One frustration is that some areas have consolidated their 911 call centers, so they now serve a large geographic area. That means the operator might not be familiar with a particular shopping center or a residential street name that may be duplicated from one development to another. Computers are supposed to keep this all straight, but sometimes the programming or data isn't adequate or the caller can't help. "I'm at the McDonald's on Rt 100" won't be enough if there five McDonald's along the full length of Rt 100. [snip] ------------------------------ Message-ID: <5E56A099.6060806@panix.com> Date: 26 Feb 2020 11:45:13 -0500 From: "David" <wb8foz@panix.com> Subject: 911 operators couldn't trace the location <https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2020/02/22/student-died-911-call-location/> Telecom Digest Moderator wrote: > I didn't know that the GPS in a cell phone could be disabled. When > did that start? Who can do it? On any smartphone I've seen, GPS is an easily controlled setting. Android usually says "Location" on the settings menu. > Why do you say "It does not provide the PSAP with the floor or > room?" I though GPS could repost altitude, and that "GPS-enabled > smartphones are typically accurate to within a 4.9 m (16 ft.) radius > under open sky."(1) Isn't that enough to get to a single floor in > one building? Often no. You need at least 3 satellites to get a Lat/Long fix. But altitude is far harder to get close; more birds are needed to do so. Open air easily gets you >>3 satellites. But inside a building is harder. Plus you have the issue of how long it takes to get an initial GPS fix. That can be up to 12 minutes. Suppose you are in the windowless core of a building. You may be under a cell on the roof, or the next building has one. Or the building has a cell repeater. The GPS birds are at the best 12,000 miles above you and far far weaker. Slant range birds will be further away but you need those birds to get a GPS lock; the further they are, the more accurate the fix will be. The carriers may use Augmented GPS <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assisted_GPS> as one helper. A further complication: Many smartphones/carriers allow calls over WiFi when it is available and cell coverage is weak/saturated. The carriers must love that -- a WiFi call does not tie up any of their expensive RF resources; instead the user/building provides the TCP/IP bandwidth to the carrier. (Note: If you are on a per-minute cell plan, the nice carrier likely *still* charges you on WiFi calls.) I have no idea what address data the carrier passes to the PSAP (Public Service Answering Point) in such a case. But consider being on a huge campus network such as the GooglePlex or Ohio State University. (All of this is why I got my nephew with a small child a VOIP account and a Western Electric 2500 set for their house, and confirmed the registered dispatch address is correct.) Now sometimes the carriers sell you picocells you plug into your home Internet feed. They are designed to only initially register after the GPS inside the picocell has a lock; thereafter it CAN tell the PSAP the caller is within its tiny range. I suspect the article came from recent legislation; as of this month, Sec 506 of Ray Baum's Act requires the PSAP get the "dispatchable location" of a 911 call. That means address, floor, room #. Plus, the 911 call must also tell the front desk/security office of the call. (I assume that's so the responders can be escorted to the caller's room.) Most PBX systems now in use can not do this. In summary: 1) Not all calls provide GPS data 2) The carriers are required to provide a "dispatchable location." 3) How? ------------------------------ Message-ID: <C6A36806-D1E8-4F6D-9A48-C1429A0CF5E5@roscom.com> Date: 26 Feb 2020 11:27:50 -0500 From: "Monty Solomon" <monty@roscom.com> Subject: Thanks, Qualcomm: Mandatory 5G means phones now ship with disabled 5G modems Pay for a 5G modem you can never use, thanks to Qualcomm's Snapdragon 865 design. By Ron Amadeo It's Qualcomm's world, and we're all just living in it. Phones are starting to trickle onto the market with Qualcomm's new Snapdragon 865 SoC, and the company's unchecked monopoly power over the mobile industry is really coming to a head with this new chip. Qualcomm is forcing 5G on everyone with the Snapdragon 865, increasing the size, cost, and complexity of smartphones, even if the world's 5G networks are not ready yet. This week, we're seeing an absurd new wrinkle in the Mandatory 5G Saga: manufacturers are sticking to Qualcomm rules and shipping its 5G modems, but they are also disabling them because 5G just doesn't work in some markets. https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2020/02/thanks-qualcomm-mandatory-5g-means-phones-now-ship-with-disabled-5g-modems/ ------------------------------ ********************************************* End of telecom Digest Thu, 27 Feb 2020
Helpful Links
Telecom Digest Archives The Telecom Digest FAQ