New forum for enhanced GPS

06 Feb 2008
00:00

It was the week that saw a new industry forum for GPS, ZigBee golden units, a new acquisition for Wavecom's M2M business, and a new solution for giving RFID fleets global coverage.

CSR and Motorola established the Enhanced GPS (EGPS) Forum this week, with the goal of advancing GPS technologies in more mobile devices and high-value services. Put another way, GPS and cellular need to work together seamlessly for location-based services to provide prompt, consistent, and reliable position information (even indoors) within the power constraints of portable devices. CSR and Motorola expect the procedure for EGPS field trials and performance testing to begin within the first half of this year.

The ZigBee Alliance released new "golden unit" prototypes from Ember, Texas Instruments and Airbee Wireless this week that implement the Zigbee Pro Feature set. The units were designed to demonstrate interoperability between platforms using ZigBee Pro, which was released last October, setting the stage for other alliance members to certify products using the same specs.

It was also the week that saw Wavecom acquire Anyware Technologies for 9.1 million euros ($13.4 million) in a bid to expand its M2M portfolio. Anywhere Technologies specializes in Java-based M2M client-server software solutions, which Wavecom says complements its Intelligent Device Services (IDS) platform, creating an end-to-end software solution.

Big deals for the week included a Wimax win for Motorola, which secured a contract with Wateen Telecom-Pakistan to supply 198,000 802.16e indoor/outdoor CPE units for the operator's nationwide Wimax network (which runs on Moto equipment as well).

Meanwhile, freshly acquired Andrew Corp (now the property of CommScope) scored a deal with Australia's Optus to design and install an in-building wireless system at the telco's new head office located in Sydney's Macquarie Park. The system includes 75 remote units, 14 UMTS sectors running HSDPA and six GSM sectors covering 84,000 square meters and serving 6,000 employees.

In Singapore, the National Healthcare Group (NHG) of hospitals in Singapore awarded a contract to local real-time systems solutions provider TCM-RFiD to install a new system to help staff keep track of pharmaceuticals and ensure proper administration of drugs to patients. The Intelligent Medicine Dispensing System (i-MDS) will run on customized software developed by TCM RFiD on more than 300 Motorola MC50 and MC70 terminals at two NHG hospitals, where hospital staff can use the terminals to scan both RFID-enabled and bar-coded wristbands that are unique to each patient.

And finally, it was the week that saw Numerex launch a new proprietary platform that could see RFID solutions deployed on a global scale. The Orbit One Global-RFID technology platform takes special G-RFID tags and connects them to a fleet of low-earth-orbit satellites through which they communicate updated location and alert info - which Numerex says expands RFID's coverage footprint from a few feet to entire continents. While the tags are proprietary, Numerex says he platform's open data architecture allows for near- instant and secure integration, and is forward and reverse compatible with virtually any legacy or next generation supply chain software.

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