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Aug 27, 2021 | Elevate Blog

Location innovator collaborates with Qualcomm to offer z-axis location for E911 emergency services

Tags: 3D Location E911

Last week, we announced our collaboration with Qualcomm, which puts Polaris Wireless squarely at the forefront of wireless industry efforts to introduce a z-axis, or vertical location, capability for use by public safety and emergency services organizations. Qualcomm’s choice to work with us is a strong validation of Polaris Wireless’ deep experience in 3D location technology and our decades of work to enhance E911 response times.

Our two companies are facilitating the adoption of an integrated solution for feature phones and other cellular devices based on KaiOS, Android AOSP, and Linux-based devices via a standards-based interface, known as LPPe, which is the delivery method favored by mobile service providers. Qualcomm is implementing a standards-based capability in selected chipsets to deliver the Polaris Wireless z-axis location to wireless carriers. Where applicable, Qualcomm and Polaris Wireless will jointly pre-validate our part of the end-to-end solution. As outlined in the announcement, the collaboration is focused on E911 use cases in the important U.S. market, which leads the world in emergency services regulation and associated location technology. This development, long called for by emergency services organizations, is a game-changer that will help save lives for subscribers of feature phones without a z-axis capability.

For users of non-iOS and non-Android feature phones, the ability to transmit vertical location, for example in a multi-story building, has been non-existent. Since last week’s announcement, Polaris Wireless has been approached by many people involved in the industry who are excited about the opportunity to include 3D location capabilities in feature phones. Our efforts fill the gap for subscribers of feature phones who don’t want to use Apple or Android-based devices, yet still want and deserve the security of knowing they can be quickly and accurately located when making an E911 call.

This collaboration further validates the decades of location innovation that Polaris Wireless engineers have invested to deliver solutions that will enhance the ability of public safety organizations to locate E911 callers. The wireless carriers have pushed for a standards-based implementation requiring cooperation with Qualcomm and we are pleased to help make this a reality. Further, our z-axis service is currently available nationwide in the U.S. with location accuracy being optimized in alignment with FCC-mandated geographic areas and associated timelines.

Beyond E911, our technology is available in an over-the-top offering positioning us to move into other areas where 3D location is important for future business growth, such as commercial and enterprise applications for logistics, hospitality, healthcare, and IoT use cases. Developers of these applications are beginning to understanding the availability of vertical location and the level of achievable accuracy that will allow them to enhance existing applications and conceive new features based on accurate 3D location.

Because Polaris Wireless is a global business, our innovation has always been envisioned for applications outside of the U.S., and our z-axis coverage is therefore designed for performance and geographic scalability. Our collaboration with Qualcomm is focused on the U.S. E911 market, and we will continue to work with them and other strategic partners with our eyes on other regions and other use cases.

Author Image

Karl Kessenich is the Washington, D.C.-based Executive Director of Business Development for Polaris Wireless. In this role, Karl focuses on global business development initiatives and partnerships for wireless location solutions serving public safety, government, and commercial markets. Karl leads the company’s government affairs including advocacy to the FCC, industry associations focused on public safety, and other government entities. He collaborates with technology partners, wireless carriers, and other key stakeholders within the E911 ecosystem, with an emphasis on z-axis location for the past several years. Karl has over two decades of experience as a technology vendor in the wireless industry, including E911 location solutions.

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