Feeds

Nokia offers assistance for unresponsive GPS phones

Urban canyon? What urban canyon?

Security for virtualized datacentres

Nokia has tacitly admitted the GPS units it builds into a small number of its mobile phones are having problems quickly calculating their locations and has fallen back on data sent over the mobile phone network to mitigate the issue.

But wait a minute - it's not a bug, it's a feature. Nokia is spinning the approach as a "new" technology called Assisted GPS (A-GPS). It's already incorporated into the Nokia 6110 Navigator phone, but the service is also available for the N95 through a new firmware update.

When Register Hardware reviewed the N95, we found its GPS facility to be the weakest part of the package by far. The problem: the difficulty the handset had in getting a fix on the GPS satellites in an urban environment.

A-GPS works by sending initial GPS data from the handset back to a central server. The server compares its own GPS signal with what it's getting from the phone. With some smart number crunching, it can send an accurate location back to the handset. In essence it makes the handset's GPS receiver seem more sensitive than it actually is.

The location data send back to the phone is used by Nokia's Maps app to plot the phone's position in situations where it's having a tough time getting a decent GPS pick up - in streets between tall buildings, for example.

A-GPS isn't new - it's been in development since the early 2000s at least. Past research has shown that the time needed to get an initial location fix can be reduced from a minute to under 30s. There's a potential knock on improvement to accuracy too, though this isn't a feature Nokia was touting today. Battery life can be improved too, because the GPS receiver doesn't need to be at full operational power for as long as it does when it's working alone.

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Boffins say they've got Lithium batteries the wrong way around
Surprises at the nano-scale mean our ideas about how they charge could be all wrong
Thought that last dinosaur was BIG? This one's bloody ENORMOUS
Weighed several adult elephants, contend boffins
Europe prepares to INVADE comet: Rosetta landing site chosen
No word yet on whether backup site is labelled 'K'
India's MOM Mars mission makes final course correction
Mangalyaan probe will feel the burn of orbital insertion on September 24th
City hidden beneath England's Stonehenge had HUMAN ABATTOIR. And a pub
Boozed-up ancients drank beer before tearing corpses apart
'Duck face' selfie in SPAAAACE: Rosetta's snap with bird comet
Probe prepares to make first landing on fast-moving rock
Archaeologists and robots on hunt for more Antikythera pieces
How much of the world's oldest computer can they find?
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.