Europe News: BlueSky reduces cost and complexity of e-Call compliance

Europe News:  BlueSky reduces cost and complexity of e-Call compliance

BlueSky Positioning is set to help mobile operators meet new EU emergency call legislation without having to upgrade or replace the handsets of around 500 million mobile phone users.

BlueSky Positioning’s new approach incorporates a highly accurate GPS receiver and proprietary antenna into the SIM card, which provides the opportunity to deploy precise, legally-mandated positioning capability quickly and cost-effectively across all mobile handsets.

Following publication of a significantly strengthened EU directive, expected later this year, EU member countries will have just eighteen months to implement a law requiring operators to identify the precise location of callers to the E-112 emergency services, potentially to an accuracy level of just a few metres.

Similar to the E-911 legislation in the US, the new law is designed to improve emergency services’ reaction and response times due to improved location accuracy and therefore increase levels of public safety. However, more than half of all emergency calls in the EU are made from mobile phones – and current network-based positioning technologies on the market cannot provide the degree of accuracy required.

With around 500 million mobile phone users in the EU, compliance with this legislation would mean a massive handset upgrade program – a hugely expensive and complicated task.

BlueSky Positioning has developed patent-pending technology and processes to embed A-GPS capability in the SIM card (USIM in the case of 3G handsets), with minimal impact on signal strength and battery life. This means that operators need only replace the SIM cards, not the phones themselves – a far more manageable solution.

BlueSky Positioning’s A-GPS SIM uses an assistance data server in the mobile network to reduce the Time-To-First-Fix and increase accuracy, particularly within buildings and densely populated areas.

According to BlueSky Positioning CEO Risto Savolainen, the LBS market has promised much and delivered little.

“This 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. Working with SIM card manufacturers, BlueSky Positioning enables mobile operators to embed the service in every consumer’s SIM and USIM card, without compromising the existing levels of card security and privacy protection.”

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