SUPL has become an important and attractive architecture for location-enabling wireless networks given its ease of implementation through bypassing the access network signaling dependencies.
Wireless operators examining ways to deploy commercial location-based services (LBS) quickly should explore the new, standalone GeoLENs Secure User Plane Location (SUPL) Platform from Andrew Solutions, the CommScope, Inc. division that is a global leader in wireless communication systems and products.
“SUPL has become an important and attractive architecture for location-enabling wireless networks given its ease of implementation through bypassing the access network signaling dependencies,” said Martin Dawson, director, Mobile Location, Andrew. “Commercial location-based services can be provided without the cost and complication of implementing control plane location interfaces in the network.”
Andrew’s new GeoLENs SUPL Platform is based on a standalone server compliant to the Open Mobile Alliance’s SUPL 1.0 standard, which utilizes the user plane for providing the location of a mobile device. The benefits of using SUPL for determining location include easy integration into operator networks, offering immediate high-accuracy location capabilities with minimal investment in network infrastructure. The GeoLENs SUPL Platform has already been deployed by multiple Tier 1 operators to support commercial LBS.
“Our development and deployment of a standalone SUPL Platform is in response to operator requests for such a solution,” said Dawson. “The versatility and adaptability of the GeoLENs location solution paired with Andrew’s expertise in location technologies helped us respond quickly to this market need.”
Andrew was one of the first vendors to recognize the potential of SUPL and has been offering the capability in its GeoLENs portfolio for a number of years. This is the first time, however, that the company is offering a standalone SUPL configuration for wireless operators who need SUPL-only functionality. SUPL-based location allows operators to provide their subscribers location-based applications even when roaming as it operates independently of the capabilities of the visited access network.
While SUPL can offer a quicker, cost-effective way to deploy commercial LBS, control plane location capabilities are typically needed for meeting E-911 requirements and enabling security applications. Andrew believes its comprehensive GeoLENs Mobile Location Center supports the widest range of positioning capabilities available from a single vendor including network-based, control plane technologies.
SUPL determines location by using radio measurements made by the mobile device from cell towers, Wi-Fi, and GPS signals. SUPL calculates location based on knowledge of such radio network sources and topology, and it can also provide GPS assistance data to the end device. Andrew’s GeoLENs SUPL Platform enables operators to locate mobile devices that are SUPL-enabled over a secure data connection using a variety of positioning technologies including Cell ID, Enhanced Cell-ID, and A-GPS.
Andrew operates a SUPL interoperability testing program with handset vendors to ensure interoperability between GeoLENs and mobile devices, lowering the cost of deployment for wireless operators. The enormous surge in smartphones and location-aware applications is significantly increasing activity in this program as operators explore quick, cost-efficient methods for supporting high-accuracy location throughout their networks. The upcoming SUPL 2.0 standard will enable operators to provide location in LTE networks, offer geo-fencing applications that allow operators to target users in specific geographic areas, and support other powerful features.
Andrew’s GeoLENs SUPL Platform is available now globally, with SUPL 2.0 LTE functionality planned for 2011.
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