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Could DVB-H be a replacement for GPS?

Written by Rich Fiscus (Google+) @ 25 Jun 2008 13:59 User comments (4)

Could DVB-H be a replacement for GPS? A California company has just successfully demonstrated new positioning technology similar to GPS, but which utilizes DVB-H mobile television broadcasts in place of GPS satellite signals. The company's name is Rosum and their technology is intended as a way to augment, or even completely replace GPS in certain applications.
The test was conducted using a DVB-H trial network in the UK belonging to National Grid Wireless. They provide infrastructure for both mobile phone and television broadcasters.

The primary advantage to Rosum's technology is its improved performance indoors compared to GPS. Since GPS was originally designed for outdoor use it doesn't always work well for applications such as tracking assets or people, where it may have to work well inside a building. This is particularly true in densely populated urban areas. TV signals, on the other hand. are designed specifically for the ability to traverse buildings, trees, and other obstacles.

DVB-H in particular is an interesting application for such technology since its primary application is in consumer devices - mostly mobile phones right now. Technology like this could help fuel sales of DVB-H enable handsets for business applications.

"Use of DVB-H broadcast networks for position-based services could provide an additional revenue stream for network operators, in addition to enhancing the subscriber experience," said Rosum CEO Skip Speaks.

Of course the reality right now is that GPS seems to be much more important, especially to business customers, than DVB-H. By the time mobile television support becomes standard, if it ever does, GPS may already be a standard feature. That would probably make Rosum's competing technology a harder sell since it would add costs for the manufacturer.

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4 user comments

125.6.2008 14:09

military and civilian infrastructure depends on those satellites....i wonder what would happen if they all went out at the same time....some solar wind.....some force of nature\m/

225.6.2008 16:24

well the military Would Say, oh Sh*t.

And i would say wtf i pay you guys $125.00 a month and your saying your satellites gone.

most civilians would run around like headless chickens, see just crank up the wattage on that there base station and you have a tv transmitter
powerfull enough to make some very angry British freinds

326.6.2008 9:47

lol might be stupid but if youve ever seen smallville (in particular the 2 zod episodes) you might get an idea what would happen..i guess that without technology after so long being depended on it wed be back to behaving like laws no nuthin

426.6.2008 21:21

nah not in good old american.....everybody would print out "How to build a satellite" of google... start their own business and new satellites would be up in a week....but of course our brothers in the eAst would have built them LOL

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