Feeds

Telmap links up with BlueSky

They really have got GPS working on a SIM!

Remote control for virtualized desktops

Telmap has integrated its software with BlueSky's GPS-on-a-SIM technology, providing location-based mapping on low-end phones just as soon as they can find a distributor.

BlueSky announced that it would embed a GPS receiver into a SIM back in 2007 and promised us a sample by June of that year, but now Telmap tells us it's seen working examples and has integrated its mapping software to provide turn-by-turn directions on low- and mid-range handsets lacking GPS.

GPS on a cheap phone

We were dubious of the idea back in 2007, and spoke to BlueSky, which explained that its technology was based on using the battery of the phone as a proximity antenna. The engineers we spoke to certainly knew their stuff, even if the idea seemed outlandish.

The Global Positioning System works by receiving very low power signals from orbiting satellites, at around 1.5GHz and 1.2GHz. Picking up those signals when sandwiched between a circuit board and a battery seems optimistic to say the least. BlueSky's approach makes use of all that metal to focus the signal, enabling the signal to be picked up by the SIM which also operates as a normal GSM SIM.

The mathematics required are beyond even BlueSky's hardware, so this is an A-GPS product which uses a network connection to pass off the number crunching to a dedicated server - a perfectly reasonable way to get a fix.

But being a normal SIM means BlueSky's solution can't be distributed by anyone except a network operator - as network operators are the ones who own the SIM. Telmap reckons there's a ready market for navigation applications in Africa and parts of Europe where mid-range handsets still lack built-in GPS, and now that the device has been shown to work ("the long-awaited breakthrough" as Telmap's CTO put it to us) Telmap can start talking to operators in those regions about deploying the technology.

It won't work in every phone, and it's not going to appeal to owners of the latest smart phones, but the window of opportunity for SIM-based GPS is still open - just. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
Broadband sellers in the UK are UP TO no good, says Which?
Speedy network claims only apply to 10% of customers
Virgin Media struck dumb by NATIONWIDE packet loss balls-up
Turning it off and on again fixes glitch 12 HOURS LATER
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
Facebook, working on Facebook at Work, works on Facebook. At Work
You don't want your cat or drunk pics at the office
Soz, web devs: Google snatches its Wallet off the table
Killing off web service in 3 months... but app-happy bonkers are fine
Ofcom tackles complaint over Premier League footie TV rights
Virgin Media: UK fans pay the most for the fewest matches
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
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?
Internet Security Threat Report 2014
An overview and analysis of the year in global threat activity: identify, analyze, and provide commentary on emerging trends in the dynamic threat landscape.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.