My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: FCC wants all phones to support GPS - Richie Rich's Enhanced 911

Friday, October 7, 2011

FCC wants all phones to support GPS - Richie Rich's Enhanced 911

Come, civil night,
Thou sober-suited matron, all in black,…
With thy black mantle.

Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet, III, 2

It looks like Enhanced 911 will become a standard for all smartphone holders by 2018AD in the US of A, folks! In order to achieve this rather lofty goal, the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) had decided to make GPS (Global Positioning Satellite) radios to be a standard in all cell phones, be they “feature” phones or smartphones by 2018AD as stated in the article “FCC to mandate GPS in all phones by 2018”, published OCTOBER 5, 2011 by JEFFREY VAN CAMP, DigitalTrends.

A simple paragraph, at which point my article should end. But end it cannot. This as the mandate may not be necessary, given the popularity of smartphones, specifically Apple iPhones and smartphones running Google Android  as noted in my blog article entitled “Apple + Android beat Nokia + RIM Globally - Regina Beaver's La Dolce Vita”.

This includes Blackberrys, which are slated for an upgrade in the First Quarter of 2012AD a la QNX OS, so I can safely call them smartphones as noted in my blog article entitled “RIM Blackberry steps up to 1.2GHz and Faster Browser - QNX and Qualcomm Voyage of the Dawn Treader”.

Enhanced 911 is the same Police 911 Emergency number one calls to report a crime in the USA, but with the added power of MRSI (Mandatory Registration of Subscriber Information) making identification of the caller via access to the Telecom Providers Database that matches names to numbers possible.

Telecom Providers mostly have customers on two (2) year contracts and are thus registered to their phone instrument be it a “feature” phone or smartphone IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identification) or UDID (Universal Device Identification)  in the case of an Apple product and SIM Card IMSI (International Mobile Subscriber Identification) is registered to their Social Security Number via their Credit Cards.

This registration of subscribers information also aids Telecom Providers in implementing MNP (Mobile Number Portability), not just the solving of crimes alone, Minority Report (2002) Style, as pointed out in my blog article entitled “MNP and MRSI - How it leads to Mobile Number Portability and Crime Eradication in Jamaica”.

Most helpful too, is the fact that Enhanced 911 has an LBS (Location Based Service) element, making the US Police able to not only identify the caller but pinpoint their location. However, this Geo-Location component is only available on smartphones or some “feature” phones. Thus the mandate set by the FCC is not only achievable, but necessary in expanding the reach of the US Police in its drive to Serve and protect the public.

Not to mention pandering to the Telecom Equipment makers of handsets and the Telecom Providers themselves. This as the new Enhanced 911 services will include not only a LBS element, but the ability to send SMS (Simple Messaging Service), photos and even video, suggesting that Telecom Equipment makers of handsets and the Telecom Providers may be subjected to making more expensive phones and increases in traffic on Telecom Provider’s data Networks at the whim of the FCC.

But their intentions are on par with those of Jamaica, which may have similar plans as described in my blog article entitled “Enhanced Emergency Services and MRSI in Jamaica - Ananda Alert meets JAWS”. This as the soon to be implemented NIDS (National Identification System), which will replace the other cumbersome forms of identification in Jamaica with just one (1) picture identification as described in my blog article entitled “Jamaica to adopt National Identification System - NIDS makes Caribbean Islands in the Stream”.

Though its aim is identification simplification and possibly to aid easier movement within CARICOM member states, as other CARICOM members have similar NIDS-esque initiatives coming on-stream, NIDS may still be used to provide the identification to enable MRSI. The bill for MRSI has already been passed in the Upper House of the Parliament of the Government of Jamaican as noted in my blog article entitled “MRSI and MNP - Where the Spies Are” and awaits implementation, possibly via quietly implementing the identification process among Telecom Providers without creating much of a fuss.

As to when it will be implemented, this may not be until the new Telecom Provider Regulator, separate from the OUR (Office of Utilities Regulation) is functional as noted in my blog article entitled “Telecom Providers get their own Regulator - GOJ says Telecoms For Your Eyes Only” and my Geezam Blog article entitled “New Telecom Act Coming for Jamaica – Providers surprised with their Own Regulator”. Speculation is rife and of Telecoms watchers and bloggers such as myself, but it appears to be slated for a First Quarter of 2012AD rollout.

Thus Enhanced 119 in Jamaica, its use specifically to be maintained and monitored by the CCN (Constabulary Communications Network), the Telecommunications arm of the JCF (Jamaica Constabulary Force) aka the Jamaican Police powered by MRSI and NIDS identification is coming in the First Quarter of 2012AD, Ri¢hie Ri¢h (1994) Style.

Whether this new Telecom Regulator will wish to emulate our North American cousins and mandate similar requirements of Telecoms Providers to sell only mobile phones with GPS is another matter. This being as mobile phone tracking by any means has always been a contentious issue here among Jamaican, who dislike being followed about the place.

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