Press releases


15 Mar 2011

u-blox introduces innovative cellular positioning architecture

New CellLocateTM feature of LEON GSM module supports indoor positioning and eliminates “no-fix” scenarios

The LEON GSM/GPRS module

LEON GSM/GPRS module now supports cellular positioning based on mobile base station attributes

Thalwil, Switzerland – March 15, 2011 – u-blox adds a cellular positioning technology CellLocateTM to its LEON GSM/GPRS module family to provide positioning in poor GPS signal conditions, or even without a GPS system present. This revolutionary embedded technology complements u-blox GPS by adding a parallel and complementary technique for determining position.

“GPS positioning works fine in open sky conditions, but falls short when deep inside buildings, airports, tunnels, underground parking and other shielded environments” said Thomas Nigg, VP Product Marketing at u-blox, “The CellLocate feature of our LEON GSM module supports a new positioning architecture that can provide an approximate position in the absence of a GPS receiver, or augment GPS positioning in areas where satellite view is blocked.”

LEON with CellLocate provides benefits in several use cases:

  • Enhanced stolen vehicle tracking (SVT)
    CellLocate enhances SVT by enabling approximate vehicle positioning in relation to GSM base station locations, a feature that is useful especially in the presence of GPS jammers, or if a vehicle is hidden inside a metallic trailer.
  • Tracking of valuable goods or containers when inside buildings and tunnels
    Based on the extension of u-blox’ AssistNow Online GPS assistance service, u-blox’ proprietary CellLocate architecture leverages mobile network parameters to support indoor positioning based on GSM base station attributes. This is useful when tracking valuable assets and containers when they are inside warehouses, airports, or tunnels where GPS satellites are blocked, eliminating “no-fix” scenarios.
  • Personal tracking
    The technology can be used as a back-up positioning system for tracking of people who spend significant time within building where GPS does not work: GPS is used when outdoors, CellLocate when inside.

The CellLocate of LEON provides a single API regardless of the available positioning technology. LEON selects the optimal positioning solution based on user-defined configuration settings.

The above scenarios use cell and/or GPS positioning techniques to deliver better results than either technology could accomplish alone. The technology eliminates “no-fix” scenarios by providing at least an approximate fix wherever cell phone coverage is available, while overcoming GPS jamming scenarios to improve antitheft system performance.

u-blox‘ CellLocate cellular positioning technology is a feature implemented in u-blox LEON 2.5G wireless modem families.