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Sagem Orga and BlueSky Positioning claim first to bring A-GPS SIM to market

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Sagem Orga, a specialist in smart card technology, today announced a strategic partnership with BlueSky Positioning that, it's claimed, will help the mobile industry overcome the key stumbling block to the success of location-based services - affordable, accurate positioning technology. Sagem Orga will partner with the mobile positioning specialist to integrate A-GPS positioning technology on SIM cards for the 'first time worldwide'.

Despite capturing the imagination of the global wireless industry, location-based services (LBS) have performed significantly below industry expectations for nearly 10 years. Even now the revenues from LBS are tiny compared to other next generation mobile services, and today's growth rates are not promising.

Sagem Orga and BlueSky Positioning believe that the key stumbling block to the success of LBS is that the positioning technologies have not been fit for purpose - technically or economically. The two broad technical approaches that can deliver the required accuracy demand either significant investment in networks by the mobile operator or the purchase of new handsets by the end user. Now a solution is being offered for the first time through the Sagem Orga and BlueSky Positioning partnership: the A-GPS SIM, enabling mobile operators to significantly increase the cost effectiveness of their services and size of their marketing target when launching new LBS.

François Blanchard, Global Account Marketing Manager at Sagem Orga, said: "The SIM is entering a new era where it can now be considered as a real service platform and a valuable device; the A-GPS enabled SIM card will reshape the way SIM card are perceived by MNOs and end-users."

"We're delighted to be working with Sagem Orga to bring our exciting technology to market," said Risto Savolainen, BlueSky Positioning's CEO. "Since unveiling our technology concept to the world last year, mobile operators serving more than 1.8 billion subscribers have approached us to learn more. This announcement takes our patented technology out of the lab and puts it into the hands of millions of consumers around the world."

Sagem Orga and BlueSky Positioning's new approach incorporates a highly accurate GPS receiver and a proprietary antenna into the SIM card, enabling mobile operators to deploy both legally-mandated and commercial applications quickly and cost-effectively for all mobile handsets, with no need for software or hardware changes. To make localization even more accurate and user friendly, the A-GPS SIM uses assisted GPS data.

The primary purpose of A-GPS SIM is to provide accurate positioning information of the phone to emergency services in case of an emergency call as required by E112 and E911 legislation in the EU and the U.S. respectively. In addition to this, it can support generic location-based services such as navigation, 'find a place or person' services, location-aware games, and more.