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GPS receiver fits into mobile phone sim card

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A UK-based start-up has announced a sim card for mobile devices which incorporates a GPS receiver and antenna, allowing location capability to be added to the device by just changing the sim card.

BlueSky Positioning said it has developed “patent-pending technology and processes to embed assisted global positioning system (A-GPS) capability in the sim card, with minimal impact on signal strength and battery life”.

The A-GPS SIM is claimed to comply with GSM and 3G standards without modifications or additional software in handsets.

Risto Savolainen, CEO of BlueSky, said the sim would help operators comply with the E112 European Directive for emergency location.

This Directive does not currently specify any particular degree of accuracy on location, but that aspect is expected to be tightened up this year with callers to be located to within a few metres.

“This strengthened EU legislation to enhance public safety services will also catalyse the LBS [location based services] market by putting the means of access into the hands of every user,” said Savolainen.

“A new handset costs anywhere between E100 and E500 plus. A replacement sim is a tiny fraction of the cost,” he added.

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