Cellphone GPS: How does it work?

My new cellphone supposedly has GPS capabilities. It has to do, apparently with the new E-911 standard, which requires a cell phone to be able to tell emergency responders where a cell call is coming from.

I'm a pretty big GPS aficionado and I thought GPSs had to have these big ugly antennas, complex expensive circuitry, and lots of software. I don't understand how all that stuff can be crammed into a tiny little phone.

So I got to thinking that they were just using the term 'GPS' loosely, and that instead what was going on is a much more simplistic triangulation between cell towers which, I suppose could produce a rough location reading. Apparently I was wrong!

Now, here come Sprint and Garmin, with a turn-by-turn navigation application that runs on my new phone. It looks pretty cool!

What a rip-off: $9.99 per month!

I can't wait to try it :-)

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Posted on September 6, 2005 and filed under Life, Technology.