60% of phones to have GPS BY 2010

Wireless analyst firm Berg Insight forecasts that 60% of WCDMA handsets shipped worldwide in 2010 will have integrated GPS receivers.

Satellite positioning technology is already a standard feature in CDMA handsets for the US market, where the technology is required to fulfil regulatory demands on accurate location of mobile emergency calls. Similar requirements have recently been announced in Japan, prompting NTT DoCoMo to introduce GPS on all 3G terminals from 2007.

The EU remains vague about future regulations regarding positioning of emergency calls and some member states have not even introduced the common emergency number 112. But André Malm, telecom analyst at Berg Insight, believes that new regulations will be considered once the European Galileo satellite positioning system becomes operational around 2010.

“Galileo is the most advanced pan-European technology project to date. Obviously, there is going to be a strong political interest within the EU to demonstrate the benefits of the project for the public as quickly as possible.

“A future EU directive calling for Galileo positioning of all mobile emergency calls would at the same time improve public safety and create a mass-market for European high technology”, André commented.

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