TTPCom and CPS will Integrate New Matrix User Plane Solution

2/26/2004 - CPS (Cambridge Positioning Systems Ltd) and TTPCom, the world’s leading independent supplier of digital wireless technology, announce plans to integrate new “user plane” Matrix high accuracy location technology into mobile handsets for the first time.

This marks a major development of a new GSM/GPRS feature that will enable a standard GSM handset to deliver sub-100m location accuracy, rapid time-to-fix and reliable coverage across all environments. TTPCom will integrate the new Matrix “user plane” feature set into their GSM/GPRS protocol stack, which is currently used by many major handset vendors.

Matrix, which has been extensively trialled in the US, Latin America, Asia and Europe, can exploit “user plane” signalling capability - using IP over GPRS or SMS as bearers - that exists in all mobile networks. Using this method, operators can deploy the Matrix solution across networks from different equipment vendors in a transparent seamless way. This minimises network impact, facilitates roaming and makes the solution easy to rollout - driving deployment costs to under $1 per subscriber.

“TTPCom is committed to offering its global customer base cutting edge solutions that can be deployed quickly and easily. Our collaboration with CPS strengthens our location based services offering and offers handset manufacturers a way of differentiating their handsets in the market", stated Paul Goodyer, Software Programme Manager at TTPCom. “Fast and accurate location technology is enabling the development of a wide range of valued added services and applications that benefit the phone user and have the potential to increase network revenues".

CPS Chief Executive Chris Wade said: “This new development marks a further strengthening of our relationship with TTPCom and highlights the consistent innovation of their expanding handset programme. Matrix is high accuracy for the mass market – and operators, applications developers and end users will benefit from a low cost solution that is both easy to integrate and deploy".

The “user plane” technique is closely aligned with an industry drive by the OMA (Open Mobile Alliance) towards “open” standards and interoperability across all networks and devices.

Matrix products already deliver location information over GSM using the “control plane” – the internal GSM SS7 signalling – but this may require upgrades to network nodes to support it.

How it works:
The mobile handset makes measurement reports based on the time differences between itself and the base stations it “hears”. It encapsulates these reports in messages formatted using the Location Protocol RRLP, and then uses IP/GPRS or SMS to send this information across the network to the Matrix Serving Mobile Location Centre (SMLC). Because they are sent via SMS or GPRS the network simply transports them to the destination SMLC, without processing or any network nodes needing to understand the message. This means there is minimal network impact. At the Matrix SMLC the measurements are taken and referenced against a network timing database so that trilateration can be performed from a common time reference, and a location obtained.

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