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TeliaSonera launches Location Based services

Posted on 4-Jun-2003 07:54 | Filed under: News

Sonera is launching a new positioning service (LCS) for consumers called "Where are you" as well as new features for the corporate LCS, Sonera Positioner. These LCSs can be used to locate friends, colleagues, rolling stock or property more versatilely than before. For private users, positioning services make it even easier than it already was to stay in contact with friends and family members. Companies can use LCSs to communicate more efficiently with their employees. The ability to position someone is up to that person; no one can be positioned without his or her consent.

The Where are you service for consumers has been tested for approximately a year now. The service is based on CI positioning through a GSM base station; for instance, friends can use it to locate the mobiles of those people who have given them permission to do so. The service uses features of new mobile phones to accomplish this. With colour displays and Internet UIs you can see your friend's position on a colour map. The service also works with SMS messages on all mobile phone models.

The positioner must have the permission of the party being positioned before positioning can be allowed. Registered clients can use an Internet or WAP UI to suggest to their friends that they can be positioned. Positioning permission is bilateral, i.e., both parties can position each other; for example, the service can be used by a group of friends beforehand to check and see where the rest of the group is and to make sure that they can be reached right at that particular moment. The service also helps to create a sense of security for parents as they can track where their child or even an elderly relative is.

"Consumer privacy has been ensured through the customer needing to give his or her consent to join the service and also through being able to prevent positioning at any time. In addition, geographical data is never saved for later use," says TeliaSonera Finland's Business Development Manager Hannu Järvi. "In addition, users of the service can receive an SMS message when they are being positioned, if they so desire," he continues.

Sonera Positioner is a corporate service that can be used by a company to locate its mobile phone subscriptions. The service is based on a positioning application that can be used through either the Internet or a mobile phone. The positions of the terminals are visible on the map displayed on the mobile phone or computer display down to the cell (the coverage area of the nearest base station). In addition, the application can be used to communicate with SMS messages with the persons being positioned.

Sonera Positioner has a new feature that helps to locate colleagues. This lets workers enquire about the position of other workers, themselves or a particular address and receive the answer on their mobile as an SMS or MMS message. Sonera Positioner can also be used to send MMS maps. The mobile subscriptions that are being positioned can be mobile subscriptions belonging to sales or maintenance personnel or security guards, or even transport equipment.

"Sonera Positioner enhances a company's activities. In addition to the company itself, customers and even employees benefit from this; for example, a maintenance company can use the service to arrange its assignments so that the extra kilometres and hours spent driving can be minimised. If problems occur, a skilled maintenance person will quickly arrive on the scene to help the customer. For employees receiving merit wages, the proportion of their work that is profitable will increase and the hours they spend on the road will decrease," says Hannu Järvi. "With an MMS map, the customer can find his or her way easier than ever in foreign environments. Positioning colleagues also makes it possible for companies, where the supervisor is working with the group in the field, to benefit from the service."

Sonera LCSs pay special attention to protecting the individual and data security. No one can be positioned without that person's express permission. In addition, subscribers can, at any time, prevent or allow their subscription to be positioned.

Sonera LCSs use GSM network-based positioning (a basic feature of networks) in various services by offering its users local, position-related information. A more precise positioning also makes it possible to navigate and, e.g., to find a route that is more suitable for the user.

GSM network-based positioning refers to defining the position of the customer's mobile phone using the coverage area of the mobile phone network's base station, i.e., the cell. Positioning occurs at the cell-level, not the city limits-level, for instance. In urban areas, there are a lot of mobile phone base stations, so the cell size is small. The positioning accuracy in this case is in the hundreds of metres. In the countryside and sparsely populated areas, the mobile telephone network is usually built of larger cells, in which case, the positioning accuracy is typically on the scale of several kilometres.

The current positioning technologies are GSM network-based positioning and GPS positioning. GSM positioning uses cell IDs that use the GSM networks and GPS positioning, satellite positioning. GPS-based positioning can position the target up to an accuracy of metres and is based on measuring the distance between the receiver and the satellite. Satellites send radio signals to the receiver and the receiver calculates how long it took the signal to reach it. GPS positioning does not usually work indoors.

For the consumer
  • Locater - "Positioning service search" that can be used by customers to search for the services that they want by SMS message or in WAP. In return, they receive the contact information of service providers nearby. This service can be used to find information on Alkos, pharmacies, grocery shops, service stations, hamburger restaurants, hotels, cafés, hairdressers and barbers, dentists, kebab restaurants, kiosks, appliance stores, florists, OTTO cash dispensers, pizzerias, Sonera mobile phone dealers, health centres and hospitals, video rental stores and information on the service areas of wGate.
  • Where - the positioning service shows the position of the enquirer to the accuracy of locality and district or locality and nearest place.
  • Where are you - can be used by other people, such as one's friends, to locate that person's mobile phone. The positioner must have the permission of the party being positioned before positioning can be allowed.
  • Tutkain (Radar) - positioning chat that can be used to locate anonymous chatters nearby. Chatting occurs anonymously by SMS message without nicks so that the sender and receiver of the SMS message cannot see each others' mobile phone numbers or information on where they are positioned.

    For companies
  • Sonera Positioner - a positioning service designed for companies that can be used by the company to clarify the position of mobile phone subscriptions that are in its name. This service is suitable for companies of all sizes for various types of usage such as positioning transport equipment, maintenance staff or security guards. In addition, this service can now be used by colleagues to locate each other and to send MMS maps.
  • Sonera Position - a programming interface for positioning that can be used by a company to integrate the real-time position information it receives for its subscriptions into its own system

  • More information: