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AT&T: 3G MicroCell rollout advancing, held up by E911 rules

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
AT&T's forthcoming 3G MicroCell is expanding into a second trial market on Monday, but wider distribution is being held up by other factors, including mandated E911 service regulations.

AT&T spokesman Seth Bloom told AppleInsider that the eagerly awaited new femtocell device will expand on Monday from its initial trial market in Charlotte, North Carolina to a second test market in Raleigh, 130 miles northeast as the crow flies.

Though Bloom offered no further comment on the matter, it's believed that deployment progress is being held up by other issues, including E911 ("Enhanced 911"), a service mandated by the Federal Communications Commission which requires phone service operators to supply the physical location of anyone calling 911 for emergency assistance.

A landline caller's location can be determined by simply obtaining the caller's phone number and looking up the account's billing address on file, but a mobile phone user may be calling from anywhere, complicating the task of accurately reporting the caller's position.

AT&T's cellular call towers track the position of callers either by using tower triangulation or by using the phone's internal GPS, enabling the network to report the caller's current position to the "Public Safety Answering Point" where 911 operators handle calls.

A user-deployed femtocell can determine its own location using its own GPS receiver; its users would be within about forty feet of the device. Other femtocell providers simply lock the device to only work at a specific, known location they can report much the same as with landline service.

Existing laws covering E911 service requirements are not always clear; for example, rules concerning functionally identical VoIP and femtocell mobile calls are expressed differently and demand different service standards. Mobile operators often have to request clarification on laws just to make sure any new products adequately meet those standards.
post #2 of 10
It seems AT&T is going to work in a nice way!!!!
post #3 of 10
"as the crow flies"? Did AI just say that, for real?
post #4 of 10
You have to love the government. Today I cannot make a call on my iPhone from my house. 911 or otherwise.

But I can't get the microcell because, if my phone *did* work, the 911 operators wouldn't know where I was calling from. Unless, of course, I told them.

I'm feeling lots safer in my AT&T dead zone now.
post #5 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by gtreible View Post

You have to love the government. Today I cannot make a call on my iPhone from my house. 911 or otherwise.

But I can't get the microcell because, if my phone *did* work, the 911 operators wouldn't know where I was calling from. Unless, of course, I told them.

I'm feeling lots safer in my AT&T dead zone now.


and if you had the microcell and called 911 and the couldn't find you then you would probably sue AT&T
post #6 of 10
I picked up one of these yesterday. I friend of mine did also. Neither of us have satisfactory results. Calls deteriorate quickly and often disconnect. We both have DSL. Mine is 8Mbps with AT&T.

I am using the router built in the DSL modem. I will set up another router and put the microcell between the modem and router. The microcell is supposed to improve QoS this way. I hope this solves the problem as I could really benefit from this in my home.
post #7 of 10
They're just *now* figuring out that a femtocell device would fall under certain E911 rules? Does AT&T actually have people there that *think* about what they're doing? Sheesh.
post #8 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Woode View Post

They're just *now* figuring out that a femtocell device would fall under certain E911 rules? Does AT&T actually have people there that *think* about what they're doing? Sheesh.

they figured this out a long time ago. that's why the cells are locked down with GPS and won't work outside the area they were designed to work in
post #9 of 10
I'm confused. I thought one of the requirements of 3G MicroCell was that the device had to be able to receive a GPS signal...so couldn't it just use that data?
post #10 of 10
If AT&T doesn't charge to use the microcell it would finally be something good they have done. I don't mind paying the fee to buy the tower, but having to pay a monthly fee to have service that you should already have is insane. Hopefully AT&T will begin working for their customers instead of trying to put more money into their own pockets.
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