Nokia has recently launched a new service that allows GPS users to pinpoint their location in one minute, as opposed to the standard three minutes that it currently takes. The service will be available to users of its N95 handset, Nokia’s flagship product.
“‘It will be reliably under one minute in most countries,’ says Ralph Eric Kunz, head of Nokia's navigation and mapping operations.”
“There are several ways improve the accuracy of cellphone GPS. Most commonly, cellphone base stations provide additional geographical information to help a phone work out where it is.”
“Nokia's new service bypasses operator networks altogether, instead relying on extra information about the orbits of individual GPS satellites, relayed via the cellphone network. This information helps the cellphone search for and catch satellite signals more reliably.”
It seems that cellphone makers consider GPS as one of the next big value-adding offerings, much like the cameras we see on many phones today. In fact, Berg Insight, a company that specializes in business intelligence in the telecom realm, foresees the number GPS handsets in the U.S. and the E.U. to reach 12 million by 2009, a far stretch from the 1 million in 2005. Although only Nokia’s N95 handset, at a stellar price tag of 700 euros, is blessed with the enhanced GPS service at the moment, Kunz promises that they are working on making the service available to all of Nokia’s GPS phones.