BlueSky Positioning,a A-GPS solutions provider for the SIM card industry, has today announced the availability of the secure JSR 177 A-GPS Applications Programming Interface (API). This will allow certified Java applications in mobile phones to use the satellite positioning functionality of an A-GPS SIM card, extending the Location Based Services (LBS) market to a wide range of phones without GPS capabilities, whilst maintaining privacy and security.
The interface allows operators and LBS application developers to expand their portfolio of existing and new location-based applications, such as turn-by-turn navigation, to non-GPS enabled mobile phones with as little as ten lines of modified code. The A-GPS API enables simple and rapid integration and creates a huge potential market of GPS enabled devices ready for LBS applications.
BlueSky Positioning's A-GPS API allows mobile operators to control and provide access to approved LBS applications by utilising GPS functionalities within A-GPS SIM cards. This is achieved via the standard Java JSR 177 API, known also as the Security and Trust Services API for J2ME (SATSA). The SIM processor acts as a security firewall in front of the A-GPS functionality, providing strong authentication, authorisation and encryption to protect the privacy and security of users, preventing unauthorised tracking and spying. This feature is already supported by more than 100 different phone models and more than 100 million handsets out in the field.
Pasi Riipinen, CEO of Gecko Landmarks, commented, "We have successfully tested BlueSky's A-GPS API, and are very impressed by its potential. This is a great example of how A-GPS SIM is enabling mobile operators to significantly increase the cost effectiveness of their services and the size of their target market by being able to offer LBS applications to newly accessible end-user groups."
A key benefit of A-GPS SIM is the provision of accurate positioning information when an emergency call is made from the phone, as required by E112 and E911 legislation in the EU and the US. In addition, the range of applications that can be offered with A-GPS SIM technology is vast, including generic location-based services such as navigation, or more complex applications such as workforce management and location-aware games.
Velipekka Kuoppala, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at BlueSky Positioning, added, "This feature greatly improves the usability of A-GPS SIM technology and extends the range of applications supported, bringing the real benefits of GPS to a greater number of end users. A-GPS SIM will now enable feature rich Java applications on a phone, such as social networking and child tracking, to become location aware without compromising users' privacy or security. We strongly believe that A-GPS SIM is the answer operators, service providers and consumers are looking for in terms of the easy integration of GPS capabilities that enable revenue generating, legally mandated LBS applications."