A novel approach to GPS/mobile integration by BlueSky Positioning Ltd (UK) is likely to herald a far more rapid GPS enablement of the mobile handset market. BlueSky Positioning’s product, A-GPS SIM, is a Assisted-GPS module for SIM cards. When incorporated into a GSM or 3G phone it forms a complete network assisted GPS receiver. As described in GPSTek’s A-GPS Technology Guide, A-GPS uses the assistance of a data server in the mobile network to reduce the location identification time (Time To First Fix) and increase accuracy.
Technology breakthroughs, including an in-SIM antenna, (patents pending) were required to realize the product. Importantly, BlueSky have stated that the A-GPS SIM costs a small fraction of the cost of a new handset.
According to BlueSky Positioning, The A-GPS SIM card complies with GSM and 3G standard and will work with legacy GSM and 3G handsets without the need for modification or additional software.â€ This unlocks the provision of GPS enabled services from the uptake of A-GPS enabled phones as only the SIM card needs to be replaced for GPS enabling. BlueSky Positioning report that their A-GPS SIM card will have minimal impact on signal strength and battery life.
The A-GPS SIM card will help mobile operators who have an 18 month compliance clock ticking on them meet new European Union emergency call legislation (similar to E-911 legislation in the U.S.). In addition, faster buildup of A-GPS enabled handset market penetration can only help the cause of location based service providers looking to deliver new services.
Categories: GPS Technology