Siemens Brings GPS to the Cell Phone Network

March 3, 2005

Siemens has developed a solution that’s making it easier for mobile phone companies to offer their customers virtual guided tours and other positioning services. This is possible thanks to A-GPS (Assisted Global Positioning System), which Siemens is integrating into cell phone networks. Initial tests of the new positioning system at the Czech cell phone operator T-Mobile in Prague were successful, and Siemens Communications intends to market the system beginning this autumn. Since there currently are no handsets for this technology on the market, a Siemens SX1 cell phone equipped with an A-GPS chip was used in the test phase.

In A-GPS, the handsets — cell phones or hand-held computers — receive additional data via a special location server in the mobile phone network. For one thing, they learn the exact transmission frequency of each satellite with which they have contact. This changes, depending on whether the satellite is moving toward or away from the receiving device.

The additional information is used to accelerate the positioning computation. And the server also completely or partially takes over the position determination, which increases the sensitivity. This prolongs the life of the cell phone battery. What’s more, this means positioning is possible in enclosed spaces or narrow areas between tall buildings — which is not the case with the Global Positioning System (GPS), where a receiving device requires contact to multiple satellites and relies on a certain signal strength.

As a transmission channel, the solution from Siemens uses Internet connections, which are already used by modern cell phones for WAP communication or downloading e-mail, for example. This eliminates the need for costly modifications of the mobile phone network, since no changes are required to the existing infrastructure.

A-GPS applications include virtual guided tours of cities via cell phone, and the tour users can opt to be directed to any location in real time. The A-GPS solution is also being considered for use in the event of traffic accidents: It makes it possible to quickly communicate the positions of accident victims to rescue centers.

Explore further: Hydrogen cars for the masses one step closer to reality, thanks to UCLA invention

Related Stories

Researchers think cell phones might prevent suicides

November 15, 2017

New studies by the UO Center for Digital Mental Health hope to not only harvest personal data gleaned from cell phones and use it for good, they also aim to prevent suicide attempts in adolescents by identifying a crisis ...

Twisting molecule wrings more power from solar cells

November 14, 2017

Inside a solar cell, sunlight excites electrons. But these electrons often don't last long enough to go on to power cell phones or warm homes. In a promising new type of solar cell, the solar-excited electrons have better ...

Recommended for you

Energy-saving LEDs boost light pollution worldwide

November 22, 2017

They were supposed to bring about an energy revolution—but the popularity of LED lights is driving an increase in light pollution worldwide, with dire consequences for human and animal health, researchers said Wednesday.

How the Earth stops high-energy neutrinos in their tracks

November 22, 2017

Neutrinos are abundant subatomic particles that are famous for passing through anything and everything, only very rarely interacting with matter. About 100 trillion neutrinos pass through your body every second. Now, scientists ...

Mysterious deep-Earth seismic signature explained

November 22, 2017

New research on oxygen and iron chemistry under the extreme conditions found deep inside the Earth could explain a longstanding seismic mystery called ultralow velocity zones. Published in Nature, the findings could have ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.