A new company called BlueSky Positioning has come up with a complete GPS unit built into a mobile phone SIM card. The phone body is used as the antenna, and the technology is A-GPS so much of the processing is done off the SIM using data sent from the network via SMS or something similar.
Still, the technological advance is considerable; it could certainly deliver the full mapping, location and route-planning offer, and it supports E-112 and E-911 Emergency Call Positioning. No software or hardware changes are needed for legacy handsets – it will run under open operating system such as Windows Mobile or Symbian, or on handsets supporting JSR177 (which enables Java applications to talk to the SIM) – and switching the SIM will obviously cost a fraction of the cost of a new handset.
As BlueSky CEO Risto Savolainen said: “The LBS market has promised much and delivered little. [The] strengthened EU legislation to enhance public safety services will also catalyse the LBS market by putting the means of access into the hands of every user.”
Blue Sky Positioning says it is at the prototype stage and is working with SIM manufacturers to start production with samples ready next month.