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BlueSky Positioning snags Sagem

SIM manufacturer in strategic deal with pipe dream

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BlueSky Positioning, the company that promised to have GPS working in a SIM by June last year, has entered a "strategic relationship" with respected SIM manufacturer Sagem Orga.

Sagem Orga's endorsement is important to BlueSky, which has so far failed to show anything more than slideware and promises, but it also shows how desperate SIM manufacturers are to find another use for the ubiquitous token.

François Blanchard of Sagem Orga explains: "The SIM is entering a new era where it can now be considered as a real service platform and a valuable device. The A-GPS enabled SIM card will reshape the way SIM card are perceived by MNOs and end-users."

He's not wrong about that, but receiving a GPS signal when sandwiched between a battery and a circuit board is nigh-on impossible. We were cynical when BlueSky promised us a demonstration last June, and more so when the firm failed to demonstrate as promised in November. Even now the two companies are only saying that they're working together to integrate the technology - so no word on when it might actually be operational.

Not content with picking up GPS from inside a mobile phone, BlueSky also claims to have integrated Near Field Technology into its product. The impossibility of this has led to the development of the Single Wire Protocol, and to calls from the GSMA for every handset to integrate an NFC antenna for use by the SIM.

If BlueSky really can integrate NFC and GPS into a single SIM then it could well drive the revolution in SIM usage that the manufacturers are so keen to see happen, but we'll reserve judgement until the company can demonstrate at least one of the capabilities it's promising. ®

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