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Broadcom, Skyhook To Beef Up Wi-Fi For Location Nets

The combination follows the trend of including Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, FM, and GPS in a variety of services and products for the new generation of cell phones.
Broadcom on Tuesday said it's adding Wi-Fi positioning to its location-based services (LBS) infrastructure by integrating Skyhook Wireless' Wi-Fi Positioning System.

The addition of Skyhook's technology, Broadcom noted, will improve the ability of users of the Broadcom LBS infrastructure to track locations in deep urban and indoor environments. The resulting enhancement of the LBS infrastructure also will enable users to obtain faster location fixes in more locations. Broadcom said it will integrate Skyhook's technology with its chipsets and LBS solutions services.

"Despite growing reliance upon hosted positioning services for hybrid solutions and LBS, the value of these services is often overlooked in the GPS and positioning markets," said Dominique Bonte, telematics and navigation research director for ABI Research, in a statement. "The ability for a single technology provider to supply GPS and Wi-Fi silicon, hybrid location functionality, extensive SUPL services and LYO is a powerful advantage."

The new combined solution follows a growing trend in which more and more wireless technologies, including Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, FM, and GPS, are being integrated into a variety of services and products in a new generation of cell phones.

One advantage of Skyhook's Wireless XPS hybrid positioning system is that it requires no new hardware while working effectively both indoors and outdoors. XPS also provides instant location and works well in congested downtown areas, Broadcom observed.

With more than 20 million active customers supported in 170 countries, Broadcom LBS services is in wide use by cell phone service providers and public safety organizations around the world. Connecting directly to Wi-Fi access points and cellular base stations, the LBS network enables device makers and application developers to deliver user-based technology quickly to their customers.