Feeds

Nokia offers assistance for unresponsive GPS phones

Urban canyon? What urban canyon?

Business security measures using SSL

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.

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
PORTAL TO ELSEWHERE scried in small galaxy far, far away
Supermassive black hole dominates titchy star formation
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
Bacon-related medical breakthrough wins Ig Nobel prize
Is there ANYTHING cured pork can't do?
Edge Research Lab to tackle chilly LOHAN's final test flight
Our US allies to probe potential Vulture 2 servo freeze
Europe prepares to INVADE comet: Rosetta landing site chosen
No word yet on whether backup site is labelled 'K'
Cracked it - Vulture 2 power podule fires servos for 4 HOURS
Pixhawk avionics juice issue sorted, onwards to Spaceport America
'Duck face' selfie in SPAAAACE: Rosetta's snap with bird comet
Probe prepares to make first landing on fast-moving rock
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
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.
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.