Tata Teleservices Ltd, India's fifth largest mobile service provider in terms of subscribers, on Monday launched its 'Quickfinder A-GPS' (assisted global positioning system) service, a location-based service. This is different from the GPS service provided by other operators, as it does not require an antenna signal and can also be used as a tracking device.
''Our new technology offers greater accuracy and real-time access. The A-GPS service will use the most advanced positioning methodology to provide users with precise position information, even inside buildings and structures,'' said Tata Teleservices managing director Anil Sardana after launching the service in New Delhi.
'Quickfinder' will deliver advanced location-based services, enabling consumers and enterprises to pin-point locations of interest or track vehicles and consignments from origin to destination in real time. The service is powered by Qualcomm's 'Qpoint' solution and 'gpsOne' technology integrated into Qualcomm chipsets.
Initially, Tata Tele is launching Quickfinder in Mumbai, Pune, Kolkata, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Jaipur and Ahmedabad, apart from Delhi. However, it will only be available to Tata Indicom subscribers.
''Qualcomm is pleased to collaborate with Tata Teleservices for the launch of Quickfinder A-GPS service, which is an industry first,'' Kanwalinder Singh, senior vice-president of US-based Qualcomm Inc and president of Qualcomm India and South Asia, said.
''As a technology partner, we also have extended our support towards network deployment, integration and end-to-end validation on Tata Teleservices' robust CDMA network to ensure accurate location services for the Indian market,'' he added.
Standard GPS services work best when the GPS antenna is visible to 'open sky' (at least three satellites), and often fails to determine the user's 'position fix' if the antenna is not visible or is only partially visible. Furthermore, conventional GPS systems may take between one and 10 minutes for 'first position fix', even in good conditions. Quickfinder overcomes these shortcomings with a hybrid system that uses both A-GPS and 'gpsOne' technology.
Tata Indicom operates on the CDMA technology, but is also expanding its services on the GSM platform after the government recently allowed telecommunication companies to use dual technology - GSM and CDMA - a single licence.
Sardana said, ''We have planned a capital expenditure of $200 crore in 2009-10 for our new GSM services. The GSM launch will take place in the southern region of the country and then move to eastern part.''
The company has 35 million subscribers. Sardana said the company has received spectrum for GSM in all circles except in Delhi.
Sardana said the company is waiting for statutory approval for the merger of its tower arm with Quippo Telecom. In January, Tata Tele merged its tower arm with Quippo Telecom, a purely towers company, to create a Rs13,000-crore entity with 18,000 towers, making it the second largest firm in terms of number of towers.