Monday, November 19, 2018

FCC Vote Could Improve GPS Accuracy on U.S. Smartphones

U.S. device manufacturers will soon be able to establish a connection between smartphones and the EU’s satellite constellation known as Galileo. The result, say FCC officials, means consumers will be able to benefit from improved availability, reliability, and resiliency of navigation and timing services on their smartphones. The FCC approved a waiver of its rules so non-federal users can access specific signals transmitted from Galileo.

Since the debut of the first consumer handheld GPS device in 1989, consumers and industry in the United States have relied on the U.S. GPS system to support satellite-based positioning, navigation, and timing services that are integral to everyday applications, ranging from driving directions, to precision farming. During Thursday’s vote, FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr said the changes will enable a broader ranges of services and applications on smartphones. Since it’s compatible with GPS, with Galileo, “real-time directions on your smartphone could see improvements, and 911 dispatchers can get a better fix on your location.” 

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said the change would also benefit the aviation, rail and maritime industries. “Those with satellite-connected devices will have more eyes looking at them,” said Pai. Continue Reading

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