u-blox Launches AssistNow A-GPS Service Framework
u-blox AG introduced AssistNow, a complete Assisted GPS service package that brings instant positioning to any u-blox GPS-enabled device with mobile phone connectivity.
The new technology cuts a GPS receiver's Time To First Fix ("TTFF") to seconds by providing the receiver with assistance data that practically eliminates download times of data originating from the satellites. AssistNow enables applications that provide on the go, accurate and reliable location information with minimal installation and maintenance efforts. From enhanced personal navigation services, that can be consulted on the fly from a PDA or a mobile phone, to complex, multi-user/terminal management systems for vehicles, goods or staff, the range of potential applications is broad.

"GPS users increasingly require accurate positioning data in real time, either to pinpoint a location in an emergency situation or to manage their business assets more effectively," said Karsten Tietz, VP Sales EMEA at u-blox. "Our new off the shelf AssistNow service addresses these needs by providing a GPS position immediately when you need it."

Standard GPS operation requires a minimum of four satellites to transmit their precise orbital position data, called Ephemeris, to the GPS receiver. However, bad signal conditions can hinder, or even prevent, the data from downloading. A-GPS provides assistance data, such as Ephemeris, Almanac, as well as accurate time and satellite status, which boosts acquisition performance enabling instant positioning, even under difficult signal conditions.

AssistNow accesses positioning data from a network of u-blox GPS receivers deployed globally, called the AssistNow Global Reference Network, which collects data from satellites and sends it to a dedicated AssistNow Root Server. This server calculates the assistance data and instantly transmits it to customer user terminals or a client's proxy server.

Customers who opt for the AssistNow Direct Service package get direct access to the AssistNow Root Server. All a customer needs is a TCP/IP Internet connection, such as a GPRS wireless network connection, to enable the data flow between the terminals and the AssistNow Root Server providing the data. u-blox operates and maintains the server, and provides the GPS receivers for the user terminals.

Alternatively, customers with a large number of mobile devices, may choose the AssistNow Proxy Server framework, where the customer is provided with the necessary software to operate a proxy server on his/her own premises, which receives periodic data updates from the AssistNow Root Server and handles all assistance data requests locally.
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