Please Explain: Assisted GPS

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Joe capitalises on a life-long love of blinking lights and upbeat MIDI soundtracks covering the latest developments in smartphones and tablet computers. When not ruining his eyesight staring at small screens, Joe ruins his eyesight playing video games and watching movies. Twitter: @Joseph_Hanlon

If the current speculation is correct, GPS navigation will soon be as prolific a feature in mobile phones as it is in digital cameras and mp3 players. However, using GPS in a phone has opened up a couple of new technologies, namely assisted GPS (A-GPS).

When your phone's GPS receiver is struggling to lock-on to the GPS satellite signal, assisted GPS uses your mobile phone's active data connection to send the limited GPS signal it has received to an Assistance Server. This powerful server can locate the device by determining which mobile phone towers the handset is nearest to, and by interpreting the limited signal.

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Paul posted a comment   

Hey guys, sorry, but this might give a very high level what it is, but it would be handy to know briefly how it works. For example in quoting the Nokia 6110Navigator which comes with Route66 navigation, how does one turn A-GPS on and off ? Do all Telcos provide a-gps? Is this a telco function or a function of the smarts in the phone "reading" the location of the mobile towers ? Where can I find out more detail ?

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