Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Mobile World Congress 2012 - Indoor Location (part 2)

Lots of announcements and developments related to indoor location, including:

Cisco - announced new technologies for heterogeneous networks called Hotspot 2.0. Cisco's objective is for wireless devices to seamlessly roam anywhere, indoors or out, without having to be reconfigured to manually roam onto a new network. Cisco estimates that 80 percent of all Web access on mobile devices is being done from an indoor location (the company collects a lot of usage data from the operators that rely on its gear). Cisco will enable location-aware services on mobile devices leveraging WiFi networks.

CSR & STMicroelectronics - Using a smartphone containing a pre-production SiRFstarV device and MEMS sensors from STMicroelectronics, CSR and STMicroelectronics showed how this breakthrough self-learning SiRFusion platform "fuses" multiple radio signals, sensor inputs and other location data to make extremely reliable and accurate indoor location and navigation a reality.

Pole Star - announced a major evolution in NAO Campus®: auto-calibration. This new feature automatically adapts the location service to all mobile devices while maintaining highly accurate location and user guidance.

Small Cell Forum (formerly Femto Forum): New developments in small cells are now being combined with Wi-Fi access points enabling capabilities including location services. Femtocells, originally designed for use in homes with installation by the subscriber, are now blurring into more robust small cells and Wi-Fi access points -- sometimes combined in one unit. The new categories of gear are more likely to be set up by carriers themselves to cover an indoor area or a high-density public space. Because they allow carriers to essentially reuse their own spectrum in local areas, these infrastructure pieces are drawing interest from service providers to deliver more capacity. There are now 40 publicized commercial deployments of femtocells around the world, and a total of 52 operators have committed to using such devices. Several of the deployments represent hundreds of thousands of cells each, and AT&T and Sprint Nextel both have 500,000 or more femtocells in customers' hands. Small cells are opening up a new model for the mobile infrastructure industry with interoperability among network elements and the components that go into them. It has published APIs for small cells with LTE, which have been adopted by 17 component vendors, including Texas Instruments, Broadcom and Mindspeed. The Forum announced it had formed a developer community to help foster applications that take advantage of the capabilities of small cells, including location and presence information. Working with software platform provider Aepona, the Forum has created a suite of developer resources. Eight vendors participated in the event at the Forum's booth at Mobile World Congress, including Cisco Systems, Alcatel-Lucent, ip.access and Ubiquisys.