News Item

More phones using GLONASS

Sony Ericsson have followed Mac in introducing GLONASS into their new range of smartphones.

GLONASS - which became operational in late 2011 - is fully supported in the Sony Ericsson Xperia S and Xperia ION phones, following the lead of Mac with the iPhone 4S; indeed, the phones also look very similar although the Ericsson devices use the Android operating system.

By using both GPS and GLONASS constellations, the total number of satellites available becomes 55 - 31 GPS plus 24 GLONASS.

Mobile phones are more than often used in 'urban canyons' - city areas where little sky is visible. This gives rise to errors due to the small number of satellites in view, poor geometry and reflections from buildings - accuracy can be degraded by up to 10-fold.

At the link below, the manufacturers illustrate the problem with a city trial in which, with GPS only, an average of 5.5 satellites were in view; but by using GLONASS also, this became 10.9. And accuracy improved commensurately - from 30.4 m to 17.7 m (68% prob radial figures).

So word on the street is that, if upgrading your smartphone, go for one using both constellations . .

Details from Sony Ericsson below . .

  • 24 January 2012
  • LNLG

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