Smartcard vendor, Sagem Orga has formed a partnership with BlueSky Positioning to integrate its A-GPS positioning technology onto conventional SIM cards.

A GPS receiver and proprietary antenna are integrated into the SIM card, which the companies say then enables mobile operators to deploy applications without the need for software or hardware changes.

The A-GPS provides accurate positioning information for the phone to emergency services in case of an emergency call as required by E112 and E911 legislation in the EU and the US respectively.

It can also support generic location-based services such as navigation, "find a place or person" services, location-aware games, and many more.

Navigations solutions are increasingly availabile on smartphones and mobile phones.

Sagem Orga and BlueSky Positioning say the two broad technical approaches that can deliver the accuracy required for these services demand either significant investment in networks by the mobile operator or the purchase of new handsets by the end user.

In a statement, they said the A-GPS SIM would allow mobile operators to significantly increase the cost effectiveness of their services and size of their marketing target when launching new LBS.

François Blanchard, global account marketing manager at Sagem Orga, said the technology would help the mobile industry overcome the "key stumbling block" to the success of location-based services – affordable, accurate positioning technology.

"The SIM is entering a new era where it can now be considered as a real service platform and a valuable device; the A-GPS enabled SIM card will reshape the way SIM card are perceived by MNOs and end-users," he said.

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