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the Race is On

Resolving Location, Sync, and Spectrum Sharing What’s Needed Now and How to PROFIT from a Disruptive Solution

An iPosi White Paper May 2018

Copyright Š 2018 iPosi, Inc. All rights reserved. The reproduction or utilization of this work in whole or in part in any form by any electronic, mechanical or other means, now known or hereafter invented, including digital, xerography, photocopying, recording, or in any information storage or retrieval system, is forbidden without the written permission of the publisher, iPosi, Inc.

The Race is On

Resolving Location, Sync, and Spectrum Sharing: What’s Needed Now and How to Profit from a Disruptive Solution

May 2018


GO inside

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Plug ‘n Play Smart Space Page 6

WHY IT MATTERS: iPosi’s Technology

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SMART CELLS: The Spectrum Sharing Solution

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OTHER OPTIONS: Expensive, Unreliable Alternatives

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HOW IT WORKS: iPosi’s Innovative Approach

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CONCLUSION: Solving Location, Sync, Spectrum Sharing

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WHAT it does

iPosi’s T rip l


Executive Summary


ution l o S

With the market for reliable 4G/5G indoor location services exceeding $5 billion and the 5G market now taking shape, regulatory agencies and others have been searching for a technology that can achieve indoor location accuracy. Attaining comprehensive 4G/5G coverage deep indoors—including location, time synchronization, and secure spectrum sharing— has been difficult to accomplish with a single, plug-andplay solution, until now. Boulder, CO based iPosi—short for “intelligent positioning”—has developed a way to reshape the indoor 4G/5G landscape and meet the growing market demand for cybersecure, accurate indoor location of mobile devices and networks. With its portfolio of 18 patents and 25 patents pending, iPosi’s silicon-integrated, embedded technology is the first and only robust, comprehensive solution to meet all three components of the indoor wireless challenge.

iPosi’s Smart Space technology is the only low-cost, proven plug ‘n play option currently available to resolve the challenges of wireless coverage deep indoors.



WHY it matters An indoor 4G/5G “problem triad,” the iPosi solution: Quickly and accurately locates people deep inside buildings; Quickly identifies dispatchable addresses for E911; Fulfills strict time sync needs to provide time assurance for infrastructure and time-critical applications such as financial services, IoT, etc.; GPS reception works in difficult indoor environments with sensitivity of -175 dBm;

technology that’s easy to deploy; Eliminates need for handset change and expensive infrastructure; Eliminates expensive installation of outdoor antennas; Increases wireless capacity for licensed and unlicensed users; Works with existing cable fiber highway; Provides unprecedented enterprise opportunity reaching an ultimate market of 300 million access points in 50 million enterprises

iPosi’s technology has only just begun to transform the indoor wireless landscape.

Maintains <250 ns absolute accuracy with respect to GPS time in nearly every indoor environment; Enables Presidential PCAST directive to share 3.5 GHz bands; Opens up spectrum access while protecting legacy radar and earthstation satellite services; Is inexpensive, embedded

and 15 million buildings (in G20 nations alone); Provides capability without any change to existing standards (LTE or 801.11xx); and Is field tested in 11 major cities, in dense urban, urban, and suburban indoor environments.


They’ve patented technology that can be embedded in small cells and can provide accurate location and timing information. Their technology is particularly relevant for shared spectrum applications where it can be used to increase efficiency and reduce the cost of deployment.


PART I 4G and 5G “smart” wireless devices turn increasingly “dumb” indoors. They can’t sync or share spectrum, and they can’t get a GPS, GNSS, LTE OTDOA, or other location fix.

he average American spends

just 13% of his or her time outdoors or in vehicles. As the indoor demand for applications and the “Internet of Things (IoT) requiring 4G and ultimately 5G continues to grow, why is it still so challenging to get full 4G service — including location and sync — across the spaces that most Americans spend a vast majority of their lives? The nub of the problem is deep indoor synchronization of time signals on the order of 100 nanoseconds (which translates to fixing one’s location to within 30 meters). Outdoors, 4G / 5G LTE devices rely on a combination of global navigation satellite systems (GNSS) and triangulation of one’s location based on time of signal arrival, the so-called observed time difference of arrival (OTDOA) method.


iPosiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s in-building SMART CELLS measure the loss profile of mobile devices to protect maritime radar from interference.

Radio Frequency Loss Profile Key 5-10 db 11-20 db 21-30 db 31-50 db 51 db or more

The 3GHz Spectrum Sharing Solution Outdoor location can often be pinpointed down to 3-10 meters. But indoor signals from cell towers are diffracted, attenuated, and reflected too much to derive any useful information from outdoor ranging signals. And, GNSS signals indoors can be too weak. Yet today, some 70% of all emergency 911 calls are made wirelessly. And, according to a recent investigative report, an estimated 10,000 people could be saved each year if location information from indoor cellphone E911 calls was available to dispatchers. The imperative for immediate indoor 4G/5G location technology is coupled with a strong economic need as well. There are 15 million buildings and 50 million modern enterprises in the world’s G20 nations. The marketplace demands indoor wireless “smart spaces” that are faster, cheaper, simple to deploy, and more accurate in location and sync than incumbent wireless technology delivers. Wireless marketplace needs today couple with a broadened spectrum across which 4G/5G signals will propagate. In 2010, President Barack Obama directed the National Telecommunications and information Administration to work with the FCC to free up spectrum and spur the broadband wireless evolution. Yet, for the 39% of the U.S. population (123 million people) who live within the 3.5 GHz coastal radar exclusion zones for naval and maritime assets, a substantial chunk of the Presidentially-sanctioned spectrum must instead be reserved absent a way to share. (Satellite earth stations are another incumbent technology that new wireless spectrum use can’t interfere with.) The wireless revolution is, in part, hampered by legacy spectrum use that, given the right technological solution, should be able to peacefully coexist with new 4G/5G channels. However, the technology that would enable smart spectrum sharing of containable indoor 4G/5G spectrum and legacy spectrum use has not been put forward. Until now.



What Other SOLUTIONS to the Indoor 4G/5G Sync, Location and Spectrum Challenges Have Already Been Proposed and Tested? One standard approach to the indoor location problem involves mounting an outdoor 4G antenna near the indoor location in question to boost the signal quality. However, the cost can be prohibitively expensive — sometimes running into the tens of thousands of dollars. And because of complicated regulations and paperwork that are sometimes required to install the tower, the time till completion can run into months or even years. Some technologies get around the weakness of satellite GPS/GNSS signals by creating their own signals from networks of terrestrial signal towers. These technologies propose to scatter radio towers around cities (which already places severe geographical limitations on the technology’s implementation) and make their tech available in selected areas. However, the company or organization behind the technology must pay for installing and maintaining their own separate pseudo-GPS infrastructure. By any reasonable estimate, that will be extremely expensive and very complex. And one still doesn’t eliminate the problem of indoor location. Some indoor locations may still not have a direct line of site to the third-party tower. So even after a massive investment and infrastructure outlay, a bill that of course the customers of the system will wind up footing, one still can’t expect to get good indoor location information from it.

Other options are costly, unreliable, and don’t solve spectrum sharing or sync.

iPosi offers a unique indoor location technology, which today is focused on locating femtocells / small cells indoors, but which can be extended to support location of devices using the network, as well as addressing the timing and synchronization market...iPosi provides a highly accurate low-cost solution from a company with a strong history in infrastructure design and standardization... [The company] has a strong play in the timing and synchronization market, but the combination of E911 and new network rollouts could transform the company into a major location player.

- ABI Research, “Hot Tech Innovators”


To the extent these wide-area beacon technologies have been tested, none have yet succeeded in becoming an affordable, simple and scalable solution to the 4G/5G indoor location problem. And, of course, even if they could be improved and made to work, these technologies don’t solve sync or spectrum sharing components of the indoor 4G/5G problem triad. A second possible technological fix to indoor 4G/5G location is what might be called the managed timing engine approach. These rely on the Precision Time Protocol (PTP) standards for time synchronization to obtain a fix on one’s location. However, PTP is an older standard that serves as a second-tier alternative to GPS. Invariably, then, acquiring location using PTP standards will be inferior to the level of precision that GPS or LTE demand. Arriving at 4G/5G sync and location using a managed timing engine relies on priorgeneration technologies and standards. LTE grade synchronization remains out of reach for this technology, which begs the question of why it might have been developed in the first place—given that it must ultimately provide sync and location to 4G LTE and 5G standards. Moreover, it never addresses the spectrum sharing component of the indoor 4G/5G problem. A third technology has been offered up as a solution to the 4G/5G indoor location problem that could be called exhaustive signal mapping. This approach relies on ultrasensitive mapping of incumbent GPS/GNSS signals indoors, and then using these maps of GPS micro-signals as an ersatz positioning tool by which a device could infer its location.

However, by their very nature, GPS signals indoors are extremely weak and also highly variable depending on time of day, weather conditions, solar activity, number of people nearby, and countless signals from other devices. Moreover, this purported solution doesn’t even begin to solve the indoor sync and spectrum sharing problem. Last is a partial solution to the spectrum sharing problem that one might call the widearea-receiver approach. This technology would place radio receivers around the coastlines and inland mandated 3.5 GHz exclusion zones. Then, when the receivers pick up any possibly competing signals from Naval or maritime assets, it would alert a central database or clearinghouse to shut down all 4G/5G spectrum activity in the region of that signal. As such, it would at least nominally solve the spectrum sharing problem — although leaving indoor location and sync untouched. However, the proposed wide-area receivers would be expensive, and it would be difficult to maintain a network across thousands of miles of coastline. It’s also, frankly, a rather blunt instrument to solve what might otherwise be a technologically inspiring set of parameters. The existence of legacy Naval, maritime or other incumbent signals outdoors doesn’t mean that all indoor 4G/5G activity will necessarily interfere. What about indoor wireless signals that remain smartly attenuated and contained indoors, never to leak out or interfere with the Naval and maritime radar? Here, then, is where the iPosi solution begins.

Outdoor GPS antennas are expensive location solutions and do not resolve spectrum sharing or sync. iPosi increases spectrum 100x.


iPosi’s solution uses a more time error-tolerant deployment of PTP, as well as SyncE, and supports future version packet standard protocols to deliver its unique, patented GPS assistance solution that originates from its own managed-in-the-cloud head-end servers. It is developing in-building-grade coverage that deals with signal attenuation for femtocells and other stationary, IP-connected host devices. This enables a reliable position and on-going sync solution that requires less CAPEX expenses, such as grandmasters for network service providers, while reducing the need for continuous network traffic, thus lowering OPEX for carriers.

- ABI Research, “Hot Tech Innovators” PART III

Welcome to iPosi’s Deep Indoor 4G /5G Sync / Location / Smart Spectrum Sharing Solution iPosi has a comprehensive approach to the indoor location / sync / spectrum sharing triad. Its single, patented technology—a code block and application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC)—integrates into 4G/5G small cell nodes enabling indoor smart cells to superpose an outdoor coordinate system indoors. And, it does this without resorting to expensive, expert installation of external antennas that cost $10,000 or more per unit. Installing iPosi-embedded indoor small cell nodes would cost less than 1% of the external GPS antenna approach. iPosi’s technology makes 4G/5G location and sync viable deep inside buildings with an affordable, plug-and-play solution that offers onboard location, higher bandwidth speeds,

shared spectrum reuse, and GPS/LTE-quality time synchronization or better. iPosi’s technology has been rigorously field tested indoors in 11 major cities including: urban, dense urban, suburban, enterprise, and hotel environments. Four Communications Security, Reliability & Interoperability Council (CSRIC) Buildings have served as the proving bed for iPosi-enabled small cell test networks: The Omni Hotel, One Embarcadero Plaza in San Francisco, as well as a converted apartment building to hotel in San Francisco, and the Tech Mart Plaza in Santa Clara. iPosi has also proven itself in sample deployments in non-CSRIC buildings in Denver, Chicago, Boulder, Dallas, Las Vegas, Orlando, Los Angeles, Nashville, and Austin.


HOW it works

SPECTRUM SHARING Expensive spectrum buys can be curtailed or supplemented with the spectrum savings iPosi technology enables to increase the technology’s value many times over.

It takes a novel approach to uphold the Presidential NTIA/FCC mandate while still protecting large swaths of legacy spectrum used by Naval and Merchant Marine radar as well as satellite earth stations. iPosi-enabled indoor 4G/5G smart cells would communicate with one another and collectively map the loss profile of the buildings in which they’re embedded. In turn, knowing the buildings’ loss profiles in every direction (azimuth and elevation), enables iPosi embedded in-building nodes to smartly manage spectrum within an indoor environment. Instead of organizing channels of 4G/5G wireless spectrum based on its potential to interfere, iPosi-enabled small cells organize channels based on interference potential informed by signal penetration measurements of the building’s radio energy containment. This ultimately offers about 100x more spectrum for indoor wireless service at 1/10 or less the cost.

Such savings are increasingly significant today. Expensive spectrum buys can be curtailed or supplemented with the spectrum savings iPosi technology enables to increase the technology’s value many times over. Furthermore, iPosi enables sharing to be burdened with hit-and-miss naval ship radar beams or leaving highly uncertain interference margins that either deny sharing or cause radar or earth station satellite interference. The expensive and time-consuming proposition of monitoring the entire US coastline for presence of naval radar signals , for instance, is rendered unnecessary. As an example, an iPosi survey of a standard concrete building might find it offers 20-30 dBm of containment. An iPosi-empowered indoor small cell would work within whatever the building’s loss parameters are, maximizing the spectrum availability to the 4G/5G network indoors while drastically reducing any radio signal “leakage” to the point that radar and satellite earth stations can be continuously protected.

Protects Legacy Services • ACCURATELY locates and “homes in” on mobiles within 10 centimeters • QUICKLY synchronizes devices in 10 nanoseconds • ENABLES shared spectrum 100x at 1/10th the cost • TRUSTED TIME SYNCS next generation indoor AP’s and cells


Indoor wireless access requires

accurate time synchronization as much as outdoor does. Handovers between cells are more frequent indoors and eventually must hand over seamlessly to outdoor cell sites. This calls for good timing references throughout. 4G LTE specs mandate 1.5 microsecond synchronization to within GPS time. This is no easy task. However, iPosi’s technology synchronizes within 250 nanoseconds absolute (relative to “UTC” time) and under 10 nanoseconds relative (the maximum deviation among neighboring cells). Of course, stronger time sync standards also mean tighter spectrum packing, which increases broadband throughput.

Sync for: e m i T r o o d n I e d a r G r ost Savings Efficient Communications e i r Location C & r t n e a m e C anag

in g Locat e l i b Mo


Superior Cell Bac

k ha ul

Accurate Indoor Location

iPosi recovers weak GPS signals 1/1000

Embedded “Smart Cells” Strengthen Indoor GPS / GNSS Signals to Achieve Extreme Sensitivity and Provide Enhanced Indoor Location

Reliable, affordable, and globally scalable indoor 4G/5G wireless location-finding is perhaps the biggest prize of the indoor 4G/5G problem triad. To enable iPosi’s patented, indoor-location finding, peak accuracy capabilities, a typical small cell layout might involve two, three, or four iPosi nodes on a given floor of a building. The iPosi nodes in tandem form a cooperative receiver. After they’re installed (requiring no expert installers on site), the iPosi nodes begin by ranging the distances to the other nodes, relative to each other. Then each node integrates its GPS signal-finding to discover the GPS satellites that it can. Each node doesn’t need to see the same satellites. Here, in fact, is the power of cooperative receivers. The nodes in the iPosi cooperate receiver all send the GPS signals they can read to an iPosi cloud server, which in turn computes their absolute and relative locations.

The result is that location of the iPosi nodes — and the cooperative receiver — has been known, in iPosi testing, down to below 3 meters location accuracy. From there one can then identify the location of the devices that talk to the nodes. Here iPosi uses the standard LTE ranging and location methodology — observed time of difference or arrival (OTDOA). This enables an iPosi small cell network to locate wireless devices within it to well within the FCC’s mandate of 50 meters for dispatchable location derived from mobile E911 calls. iPosi technology provides enhanced mobile location using incumbent LTE OTDOA to several meters. It provides maximum 4G/5G data throughput since synchronization avoids most self-interference. iPosi synchronization also provides enhanced 4G/5G services targeted to single users — again to maximize data throughput and customer high speed data needs.


In Conclusion A Unique Challenge with an Unprecedented Solution To summarize then, iPosi Smart Cell technology enables the indoor 4G/5G revolution with increased spectrum, lowered costs of access, gigabit speeds, IoT readiness, and full intelligence on location, sync, and spectrum sharing for all devices in the deep indoor network. To deliver 4G/5G in any capacity requires all the above ingredients, outdoors as well as indoors. Complex indoor environments represent a unique set of challenges compared to outdoor 4G/5G. And solving the indoor 4G/5G problem triad of location, sync, and spectrum sharing requires a different kind of solution than others have proposed to date. iPosi effectively meets the challenge by using the power of self-organized networks, and enables a globally scalable solution for capturing the huge reserve of shared spectrum that the in-door wireless environment represents. iPosi thus leapfrogs ahead of other solutions to the indoor 4G/5G problem triad. By effectively using a building to contain interference intelligently and affordably, iPosi helps to enable today the transformative 4G/5G revolution of tomorrow. What was once just undifferentiated chunks of spectrum, becomes a single, comprehensive wireless airspace. Indoor environments are no longer wireless deserts but rather vibrant opportunity zones offering to end-users, developers, and enterprises the full promise of the 4G/5G wireless revolution ahead.

How Can We Help You?

For a demonstration of how iPosiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; or for other information, contact u

ontrol over the future of wireless goes to those who first control the airspace. iPosiembedded small cells represent a new breed of solution and a definitive opportunity for its strategic partners and customers to join them at the head of the race for indoor 4G/5G location, sync, and spectrum sharing.

â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s game-changing technology can help further what youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re doing in the world, us at


5555 Central Ave., Suite 100, Boulder, CO 80303

Location sync shared spectrum solution  
Location sync shared spectrum solution