TV station’s antennas can be used as GPS transmitters

February 16, 2009

Rosum, based in Mountain View, CA, says television broadcast antenna towers have accurate-enough time stamps to publicly broadcast GPS-like results without a satellite. This, the company said, could be a boon for broadcasters helping wireless carriers deploy “femtocells,” which need a GPS signal to operate.

A femtocell is a small cellular base station, typically designed for use in residential or small business environments. It connects to the service provider’s network via broadband (such as DSL or cable). It typically supports five to 100 mobile phones in a residential setting.

Over-the-air broadcasts could allow stations to place GPS in places where satellite signals can’t be received. That’s generally indoors, as well as urban canyons.

All femtocells sold to date include a GPS receiver — and a 30ft GPS antenna. If a femtocell can’t get a GPS lock, it can’t be used.

Rosum supplies a simple solution for location data that uses TV broadcasts.

For more information, visit www.rosum.com.

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