QUALCOMM Incorporated and NEC Corporation announced the successful completion of assisted-GPS (A-GPS) interoperability testing (IOT) in Japan on a commercial 3G WCDMA network. Testing included protocol and network connectivity testing with basic A-GPS operations using a preliminary version of the Secure User Plane for Location (SUPL) interface. SUPL, a standards-based protocol that allows a mobile handset client to communicate with a location server, is a standard that is in the process of being adopted by the Open Mobile Alliance (OMA) and is expected to be supported by QUALCOMM, NEC and other leading companies developing location technology, products and services.
QUALCOMM and NEC are supporting a preliminary version of the SUPL ("Pre-SUPL") protocol to meet the rapidly accelerating demand for high-accuracy location-based services in Europe, North and South America and Asia, including Japan. IOT was conducted using QUALCOMM's TM6250(tm) test mobile and NEC's location-information system to confirm the accuracy, protocol and end-to-end interoperability of Pre-SUPL.
The TM6250 test mobile is powered by QUALCOMM's MSM6250(tm) chipset, which contains fully -integrated, industry-leading gpsOne(R) technology, and provides a cost-effective way to perform high-accuracy location-based services. The Pre-SUPL support in the MSM6250 chipset enables operators to begin commercial trials, application testing and network preparation in anticipation of the final-released OMA SUPL specification. To address operator demands, Pre-SUPL support is planned for commercial deployment during 2005.
Upon OMA's finalization of the SUPL specification, SUPL support is expected to become a component of QUALCOMM's gpsOne-enabled chipset roadmap and NEC's location-information system. The gpsOne solution with Pre-SUPL support is currently a standard feature of QUALCOMM's MSM6250 chipset and software releases. QUALCOMM is working with a number of handset partners to commercialize the gpsOne capabilities in the MSM6250 chipset to address rapidly accelerating demand for high-accuracy location-based services. NEC expects to incorporate standards-based SUPL support into its location-information system, providing a complete, future-proof solution, as well as seamless migration for those operators deploying A-GPS solutions today.
"Working with NEC, we've successfully completed interoperability testing of the Pre-SUPL protocol using our gpsOne client technology on a commercial 3G WCDMA network, which we expect will provide operators with an easy migration path to OMA's SUPL standard," said Mark Frankel, vice president of product management for QUALCOMM CDMA Technologies. "The commercial availability of Pre-SUPL allows operators to offer location-based services today that can later be updated to support SUPL, thereby providing the competitive advantage of early commercial availability."
"NEC is committed to the global success of location-based information services. In 2001, our technology enabled the first commercial user-plane location information system used in Japan," said Yasushi Yoshikawa, general manager of NEC Mobile Business Development Division. "Today, the success of our IOT with QUALCOMM ensures the user-plane A-GPS location-information system is no longer dependent upon operators' control plane networks, providing continual improvements to mobile operators' location-information services."
NEC's location-information system, which uses QUALCOMM's QPoint(tm) location server product, is one of the world's first commercial user-plane systems enabling accurate location-based navigation services. Advanced mobile services continue to increase a mobile operator's popularity in the competitive Japanese cellular market. In 2005, NEC's improved location-information system enabled completion of interoperability testing of live A-GPS calls on a commercial WCDMA network with a preliminary version of SUPL. This advanced system is expected to have a considerable impact on the location information business within Japan in the near future.