Vendors Of GSM Mobile Location Positioning (LBS)

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CellPoint -
The CellPoint positioning system is currently the world's only commercially operational digital cellular position-location technology; it is fully scalable, works with standard GSM phones and WAP phones in unmodified digital networks requiring no costly overlays, and can be coordinated worldwide from a remote central location. 

Working with Tele2Mobil of Sweden, the CellPoint GSM positioning technology, applications and Internet services are now available to Swedish cellular phone users. The new service, called "Tele2Mobil Position'', is based on the Resource Management(TM) Service from CellPoint Systems(TM).

Tele2Mobil Position enables transport, security, service and sales organisations to be more efficient and to increase customer satisfaction by routing their vehicles and personnel more effectively. The CellPoint technology enables Tele2 to offer the positioning services using their existing network.

SnapTrack -
SnapTrack is a GPS-based system that requires a network based server as well as Mobile Station modifications.

An international consortium of Global System for Mobile telecommunications (GSM) wireless carriers, handset suppliers, applications providers, infrastructure manufacturers and semiconductor manufacturers is evaluating SnapTrack's breakthrough approach for wireless handset location. It was recently bought by Qualcomm.

SnapTrack's Enhanced Global Positioning System(tm) (EGPS) technology can enhance public safety for people placing emergency calls on their mobiles, and enable a whole range of new location-based services like improved roadside assistance, personal direction finding, improved taxi dispatch and vehicle fleet management, mobile directory assistance, and even keeping track of pets.

"Accuracy and cost are two of the industry's primary concerns regarding the ability of location technology to deliver profitable location-based services,'' said Clint Cooper, chief technology officer of test group participant Omnitel Pronto Italia. "This test group will help carriers evaluate the benefits of SnapTrack technology as a method for the near-term delivery of value-added location services.''

This consortium collectively supports over 30 million subscribers. Members include Vodafone AirTouch Communications PLC (UK and US), BellSouth Mobility DCS (US), BT Cellnet (UK), Esat Digifone (Ireland), France Telecom (France), Omnitel Pronto Italia (Italy), T-Mobil (Germany), Telecel (Portugal) and Telefonica (Spain). Motorola will produce prototype handsets for field tests by the consortium, and applications developer SignalSoft (UK and US) will provide location-based services to create a complete end-to-end test environment.

Infrastructure provider Siemens Information and Communication Networks (Germany) will participate in the trials, as will semiconductor manufacturers Texas Instruments and Motorola. Texas Instruments and Motorola have previously announced licensing agreements with SnapTrack, and have made equity investments in the company.

"The GSM test group provides SnapTrack the opportunity to demonstrate that its enhanced Global Positioning System (GPS) technology can provide the high accuracy carriers require in order to deploy effective personal location services for their subscribers,'' said Steve Poizner, CEO of SnapTrack. 

"While SnapTrack works with any air interface, the importance of this test group is underscored by the fact that GSM networks serve 140 million wireless subscribers worldwide.''

SnapTrack's Personal Location System(tm) requires no additional cell sites or modification to existing network equipment and is designed to have minimal impact on cost and handset form factor. 

SnapTrack improves on conventional GPS performance by sharing processing tasks between patented software algorithms, which harness the power of the digital signal processor inside a wireless handset, and sophisticated server software running in the wireless network. Rather than processing GPS data continuously like traditional GPS receivers, SnapTrack processes only a snapshot of the GPS data.

When a caller requests a location-based service, the SnapTrack-enabled handset takes a snapshot of GPS data, processes it and transmits location information back to the network server. 

The server computes longitude and latitude and performs complex error corrections to improve accuracy. While traditional GPS receivers may take several minutes to provide a location fix, SnapTrack's innovative system generally locates callers within a few seconds.

In independently audited field tests in Europe, the United States, and Japan, SnapTrack's Personal Location System(tm) accurately located callers in downtown skyscrapers, wooded areas, crowded urban canyons and moving automobiles. NTT DoCoMo, Japan's largest wireless carrier, chose SnapTrack as the basis for its first-to-market personal navigation system after extensive tests in Tokyo in 1997, and will debut SnapTrack-enabled product later this year.

The GSM test group is similar to the SnapTrack CDMA Test Group (STCTG), which has been conducting tests since the first quarter of 1999. The CDMA Test Group is comprised of 15 member companies, including Vodafone AirTouch Communications, Ameritech Cellular, Bell Mobility, GTE Wireless, PrimeCo Personal Communications, Sprint PCS, U-S WEST Wireless, Denso, Fujitsu, Hyundai, LGIC, Motorola, Samsung, Texas Instruments and VLSI.

Ericsson Mobile Positioning System (MPS)

Ericsson's Mobile Positioning Systems (MPS) requires no modifications to standard GSM phones and terminals, opening the door to a whole new range of location-based services. 

The system has been chosen as the basis of future European and North American standards, and Swedish operator Telia is to trial the system for emergency call location. It is a server-based solution that allows positioning services to be introduced into any GSM network that has Ericsson switching systems. The system will work with any GSM-standard radio network and all existing GSM phones.

At the heart of the Ericsson MPS is the Mobile Location Centre (MLC), a system that allows user applications to access position information for GSM phones.  An Application Programming Interface (API) will be available to allow the development of custom applications. The MLC also handles access security, and protects subscriber privacy by allowing GSM users to choose whether or not their phones and other devices are tracked.

The European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) and the American National Standards Institute (ANSI)-accredited T1P1.5 authority have decided to work jointly on a GSM mobile positioning standard based on the Ericsson system.

Ericsson expects that in addition to deployment for emergency services, fleet management, logistics and stolen vehicle tracking applications, the system will be used to deliver mass-market services to any GSM subscriber. Examples include "Where am I?" guidance, roadside assistance, local news, information and weather reports, and "yellow pages" services. 

BT Cellnet
BT Cellnet patented an E-OTC system in which base stations are synchronized to become the reference sites. It was trialed about two years ago in the North East of England.

CPS Cursor
Cambridge Positioning System (CPS) has a system called Cursor that is an E-OTD system. This uses their own reference beacons (co-sited on base stations).

SignalSoft Corporation
SignalSoft is LFS independent. Its network-based Intelligent Network Service Control Point (IN SCP) can take position information from any one, or a multiple of schemes, turn it into a latitude/longitude and reference this to a zone and information/service requested. This location management system (inspirationally called "Location Manager") facilitates a number of services, the most exciting of which are local information services (such as travel and weather) and location sensitive billing, together with the tool for provisioning the service and fixing latitude and longitude against defined zone (the MAPS client). Operators can thereby offer location based services to existing customers as well as today's more accurate positioning niche applications which will become tomorrow's standard services.


US Wireless
GMCF (Global Mobile Commerce Forum) Asia RIG with NTT Personal PHS Location Information Services.


CellPoint Systems AB

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