Faster with Nokia A-GPS

Nokia has reportedly launched it's Assisted GPS (A-GPS) service that the company says will reduce times taken by GPS-enabled cell phones to find their current positions. With the new service, users of Nokia Maps can find both current locations and desired locations faster while using Nokia mobile devices with built-in GPS.

What is GPS?
GPS is a satellite based positioning system. Assisted GPS, or A-GPS was introduced to enhance performance. The development of A-GPS was accelerated by the U.S. FCC's E911 mandate requiring the position of a cell phone to be available to emergency call dispatchers. Conventional GPS had difficulty providing reliable positions in environments surrounded by tall buildings - the so-called 'urban canyon', as well as indoors and under heavy tree cover. Under these conditions, the GPS signal is often of very poor quality, making it hard for receivers to obtain a position. In addition, when first turned on in these conditions, a non-A-GPS may not be able to download the orbital information from the GPS satellites, rendering it unable to function until it has a clear signal for around one minute. (

Nokia said it's first devices to use the service will be the 6110 Navigator, which has already started shipping in select markets, and the recently released N95 multimedia computer. However, the company plans to put the service on all it's future devices with built-in GPS. Existing N95 customers can avail the service by using the Nokia Software Updater at As such, the firmware on the device will be updated to the latest version. The software updater is available in 40 different languages.

The Nokia A-GPS service operates in-sync with a technical framework that allows service providers and other third parties to provide their own regional A-GPS services, making fix times even faster in certain areas. Nokia's A-GPS service sports the ability to reduce the time taken by a connected mobile device with built-in GPS to find it's current position, known as the time to first fix (TTFF) for most geographical locations around the world.

According to what seems true, while most Assisted GPS technologies use mobile carriers' cell sites to find locations faster, Nokia's new service bypasses operator networks using data from a SIM card along with new software that helps the phone catch satellite signals.