Nokia Surge 6790
Top message: Looks nice but ... by monterey86
Replying to: Re: Looks nice but ... by KoldPhusion
So you're saying that the average consumer can contact a satellite in space from their cell phone without paying one cent for it????
Yes, absolutely. That's how any phone with GPS (including A-GPS) works.
Note that GPS is a one-way radio service. The satellites broadcast special timing signals, which any GPS-enabled device can receive. No communication happens in the direction of GPS device to satellite.
The US gov't operates the GPS satellites. Because it is strictly broadcast, there is no cost difference to the US gov't if no one uses it or a billion people use it at once. Also, there is no capability to identify individual users, and therefore no way to charge for it. It's simply a public radio signal.
In the case of A-GPS (assisted GPS) yes, the phone does actually receive signals directly from the satellite, but the raw data isn't very accurate and/or would take a few minutes to process and resolve into an accurate location reading. Therefore the raw GPS data is processed with the help of servers on the cellular network, and supplemented with location data from the cellular network (triangulation, etc.) to provide location data faster and more accurately.
Note that many phones - especially GSM models - support both standalone and assisted modes.
- Re: how GPS works by KoldPhusion
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