Feeds

Telmap links up with BlueSky

They really have got GPS working on a SIM!

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

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. ®

Business security measures using SSL

More from The Register

next story
Brit telcos warn Scots that voting Yes could lead to HEFTY bills
BT and Co: Independence vote likely to mean 'increased costs'
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Blockbuster book lays out the first 20 years of the Smartphone Wars
Symbian's David Wood bares all. Not for the faint hearted
Bonking with Apple has POUNDED mobe operators' wallets
... into submission. Weve squeals, ditches payment plans
This flashlight app requires: Your contacts list, identity, access to your camera...
Who us, dodgy? Vast majority of mobile apps fail privacy test
Apple Watch will CONQUER smartwatch world – analysts
After Applelocalypse, other wristputers will get stuck in
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
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
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 and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.