Globalstar Product Management – Technical Support

Obtaining Position Location with a Globalstar Phone

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I have heard that Qualcomm Globalstar phones (GSP-1600, GSP-2900, and the GSP-1620) can report position.  Is there a GPS receiver in these units?  Does that feature require any over-the-air messages or would I be able to acquire regular location reports for free?

Answer: Globalstar phones do not contain GPS receivers.  The Globalstar gateway calculates a phone’s location using a technique called Mobile Position Determination (MPD), which uses time, angle and distance information from the satellite signals, combined with an algorithm to determine the geographic position in latitude and longitude (DMS).  The resulting location determination is accurate enough to ensure that the subscriber is billed for usage in the correct country using the correct tariff table, but is not as accurate as GPS.  This is an automatic function and does not require any over-the-air messages.  While in a Globalstar call, you can retrieve position location information on the GSP-1600 via the Menu (Menu-4-3).  On data capable phones (GSP-1600, GSP-2900, GSP-1620), you can retrieve the location via an AT modem command (AT$QCPLS).  Sorry, no regular location updates for free.  But, with an inexpensive GPS chipset and associated application, our network performance is unparalleled, and our cost per update is well below the competition.

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Written by Joseph Crowley

May 15, 2008 at 9:43 pm

Posted in Position Location

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