EMT Estonia tests BlueSky Positioning’s A-GPS technology
EMT Estonia is the first network operator to test a USSD connection for assistance data, allowing BlueSky Positioning’s A-GPS solution to be used with ordinary mobile phones.
BlueSky Positioning and EMT Estonia announced today that EMT has completed its initial field testing of BlueSky Positioning’s A-GPS (Assisted-Global Positioning System) technology. The tests were conducted using both GPRS and USSD (Unstructured Supplementary Services Data) for retrieving assistance data in a live 3G network.

EMT Estonia is the first network operator to test a USSD connection for assistance data, allowing BlueSky Positioning’s A-GPS solution to be used with ordinary mobile phones, even if the model does not support GPRS. Using USSD brings with it a number of benefits such as the ability to be used concurrently with a voice call. Retrieving assistance data during a call is particularly important when making an emergency call, allowing the caller to be located accurately and quickly.

The tests were carried out with handsets varying from low end 2G to high end 3.5G. Future testing will cover a wider range of handsets and scenarios including various weather conditions, in urban and rural landscapes and using entry level handsets and smartphones. Running parallel to this testing, new services and business models will be finalised in readiness for a mass market launch by EMT.

BlueSky Positioning’s A-GPS technology is completely embedded into a phone’s SIM card. A key benefit of A-GPS SIM technology is the provision of accurate positioning information when an emergency call is made from the phone, as required by E112 in the EU and E911 legislation in the US. In addition, the range of location based applications that can be offered with this combined A-GPS SIM technology is vast, including generic Location Based Services (LBS) such as navigation, social networking, child tracking or more complex applications such as workforce and fleet management.

“Our preliminary test results with A-GPS in-SIM technology have demonstrated compelling accuracy coupled with a fast TTFF (time-to-first-fix), comparable to any commercial A-GPS handsets in the market. A-GPS SIM technology opens up a whole range of possibilities for both EMT and its subscribers,” said Argo Kivilo, R&D Manager at EMT. “Not only this, but in light of the newly updated EU E112 directive, operators must be able to provide location data on nearly all emergency calls on their network within the next 18 months. BlueSky Positioning’s technology will be essential in ensuring this happens.”

Velipekka Kuoppala, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at BlueSky Positioning, added, “Our work with EMT takes us a big step closer to the mass market deployment of A-GPS technology within SIM cards. EMT has been very supportive in the development of this technology and we are excited to already see initial results from these advanced testings. We strongly believe that A-GPS technology used with SIM cards is the answer operators, service providers and consumers are looking for in terms of the easy integration of GPS capabilities that enable useful, revenue generating and legally mandated LBS applications whilst also delivering compliance to E112 and E911 legislation.”
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