Ericsson's new mobile positioning system uses standard GSM phones

Ericsson has introduced a new MPS mobile positioning system for GSM operators that requires no modifications to standard GSM phones and terminals, opening the door to a whole new range of location-based services. The system has been chosen as the basis of future European and North American standards, and Swedish operator Telia is to trial the system for emergency call location.

The Ericsson Mobile Positioning System (MPS) is a server-based solution that allows positioning services to be introduced into any GSM network that has Ericsson switching systems. The system will work with any GSM-standard radio network and all existing GSM phones.

At the heart of the Ericsson MPS is the Mobile Location Center (MLC), a system that allows user applications to access position information for GSM phones. An Application Programming Interface (API) will be available to allow the development of custom applications. The MLC also handles access security, and protects subscriber privacy by allowing GSM users to choose whether or not their phones and other devices are tracked.

In the USA, mobile location to an accuracy of 125 meter's will be mandatory by the end of 2001. The Ericsson MPS is being developed to meet the American standard.

The European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) and the American National Standards Institute (ANSI)-accredited T1P1.5 authority have decided to work jointly on a GSM mobile positioning standard based on the Ericsson system.

Starting in December 1998, Swedish operator Telia will conduct trials of the Ericsson MPS to evaluate its effectiveness in responding to GSM subscribers' emergency calls. Such callers are often lost or in a state of shock, and the MPS should ensure, for example, that the closest and most appropriate ambulance, fire and rescue resources are deployed at the scene of a fire.

Ericsson expects that in addition to deployment for emergency services, fleet management, logistics and stolen vehicle tracking applications, the system will be used to deliver mass-market services to any GSM subscriber. Examples include "Where am I?" guidance, roadside assistance, local news, information and weather reports, and "yellow pages" services.

GSM is the world's most widely deployed digital wireless communications standard. Ericsson is the leader in GSM, with almost half of the world's 115 million GSM subscribers connected by Ericsson systems.

Ericsson is the leading provider in the new telecoms world, with communications solutions that combine telecom and datacom technologies with the freedom of mobility for the user. With more than 100,000 employees in 140 countries, Ericsson simplifies communications for its customers - network operators, service providers, enterprises and consumers - the world over.

Please visit Ericsson's Press Room at:


Jörgen Johansson, Ericsson Radio Systems Phone: +46 455 39 53 08, +46 70 839 5308, E-mail:

Eric Österberg, Communications Director Ericsson Business Area Mobile Systems Phone: +46 8 757 2159, +46 70 590 0599; E-mail:

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