FCC says they want to see GPS in all phones by 2018 to pinpont emergency calls

FCC says they want to see GPS in all phones by 2018 to pinpont emergency calls
In our modern smartphone age, it’s almost unfathomable to even consider the lack of GPS on a handset, especially when a lot of apps and services rely on it. From social networking to turn-by-turn navigation, there’s no denying the fact that GPS has tremendously aided in making a variety of things in our lives much easier to accomplish.

Interestingly enough, the FCC is calling for the rule of having every single phone to support true GPS positioning by the time the year 2018 rolls along – as opposed to the slightly faster triangulation method that most phones utilize. Of course, true GPS positioning isn’t a problem for the hordes of smartphones out there on the market, even ones from a few years back. However, there are still many people who own feature phones or basic devices that lack the ability to triangulate their position via cell phones towers. Also included in the mix, the FCC mentions that VoIP-only handsets are also required to offer true GPS.

Now this isn’t a scheme for Big Brother to watch over its citizens, but rather, the ruling is being backed by the notion that it’ll aid emergency responders in pinpointing the actual location of 911 emergency phone calls. Naturally, it proves beneficial to those devices that offer true GPS positioning, but then again, there are still some obstacles with them – mainly because signals can be obscured if you’re indoors or in densely populated cities with a lot of buildings.

Granted that the FCC wants all phones to support it by 2018, there’s no say in what they’re going to do with all the other people who currently own devices that don’t pack a GPS chip. Plus, they’re not being slammed with some sort of deadline to upgrade to a device that supports it. In any event, the FCC believes that 85% of cell phone owners will be using a GPS capable device by 2018 – so either way, we'll be in a good position by then.

via TechCrunch

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13 Comments

1. hepresearch unregistered

Well, call me paranoid, but I don't like the government stepping in with that kind of a requirement. If people want that, companies will make it and deliver the product to them just as they ask for it... rather than requiring the government to step in and "make sure" that every phone is made that way by law. I sort of like being free of GPS at the moment, and I would rather keep my GPS separate from my phone line. Yeah, I'm weird, but that's just me...

2. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

It's funny that they want to pin point emergency calls. It sounds like they want to pin point everyone at any given time! I hope this does not happen!

5. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

i totally forgot that phones are made without GPS..lol. but yea, if they can pinpoint you for emergencys, they can pinpoint you for anything at any time. Whats an "emergency" exactly? I can see that playing out in the courts eventually.

3. The_Miz

Posts: 1496; Member since: Apr 06, 2011

Oh look, the government trying to step in and tell us what to do. And no wonder the US is a joke.

6. hepresearch unregistered

And what "government" do you subscribe to? I'd love to hear if you found a better one, because I'm going wherever you are... in a heartbeat!

4. JS unregistered

Installing a GPS chip doesn't mean it'll work as well :) Ask Vibrant users ;)

7. waveydavey unregistered

Apparently apocalyptic governmental takeovers is what it takes to bring together the apple and adroid fans. *sigh* I love it when people get along.

8. downphoenix

Posts: 3165; Member since: Jun 19, 2010

They still make phones without GPS? I guess maybe those 9.99 prepaid gophones or tracfones, cant imagine that many people still use those though, at least not for a primary phone.

9. Phonedude003 unregistered

Every radio powered device has been requred to be E911 compliant, which requires all devices with a cellular radio to have a GPS chip in it since 2001 (Telecommunications act of 1997). This isn't new, just a precision GPS, rather than a triangulated chipset that locates off of three towers. That's not to say I'm for it, I'm rather opposed to it, for all the Big Brother reasons. As an avid fan of Orwell, I'm amazed, and disturbed at how close his vision of the future was, or should I say, is.

10. downphoenix

Posts: 3165; Member since: Jun 19, 2010

Yea, Orwell was ahead of his time, but he was wrong about how the governments/corporations would impose this on us. It is not clearly defined like it was in his works, but rather it is transparent to the point that most people dont even realize its happening or if they do they just dont care because they are too busy dealing with their own problems to care about government and corporate oversight. So the masterminds behind this are also fans of Orwell's work, they use it as part of their blueprint on planning this to make it seem as little brother as possible.

11. paynekiller

Posts: 152; Member since: May 24, 2010

The government just wants to track you down easier.

12. SavageLucy42

Posts: 211; Member since: Mar 24, 2011

Just wrap your phone in tinfoil or a wet towel. Then get your ass to Mars.

13. hepresearch unregistered

Woo-Hoo! I want to go to Mars... As for my phone... I don't seem to have any tin foil on hand, and I will need to keep my towel dry for the space voyage (at least that's what "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" taught me)... do you think Saran Wrap will do?

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