BlueSky Positioning has unveiled a new version of their AGPS-SIM, adding support for NFC Technology as well as GPS on a single chip that will work with existing GSM, 3G phones and new NFC devices without any software or hardware modifications.
“This combination provides significant benefits for the mobile operators and consumers,” said Risto Savolainen, BlueSky Positioning CEO. “Assisted-GPS and emerging NFC can live side-by-side in the same ‘Super’ SIM card providing unprecedented opportunity for new highly valued applications. Although AGPS-SIM is fully compatible with current phones, benefiting of the NFC features would naturally require a handset upgrade.”
What is AGPS-SIM
BlueSky Positioning has a different approach to solving the mobile industry’s need for mobile positioning technology by integrating AGPS technology into the SIM, not the handset. Other mobile positioning technologies such as cell-ID sometimes have accuracy issues while GPS-enabled mobile phones, while accurate, are expensive and not widely deployed. This situation creates a challenge for operators–they cannot deliver much-vaunted location-enabled services or meet forthcoming E112 requirements. (E112 refers to the EU Directive 112 (2003) that requires mobile phone networks to provide emergency services with all information they have about the location that an emergency mobile call was made. This directive is based on the FCC’s Enhanced 911 ruling in 2001.)
BlueSky Positioning has developed patent-pending technology and processes to embed Assisted Global Positioning System (A-GPS) capability in the SIM card (USIM in the case of 3G handsets), with minimal impact on signal strength and battery life. In Europe, mobile operators could only replace the SIM cards, not the phones themselves to comply with E112. BlueSky Positioning’s A-GPS SIM uses a SUPL compliant assistance data server in the mobile network to reduce the location identification time and increase accuracy, particularly within densely populated areas. By embedding this location capability in the end-user SIM, with or without NFC capability, manufacturers can enable swift and effective roll out and compliance–and faster emergency response times.