Dual Frequency: The Next Mass Market Revolution for GNSS?

Published: 
09 September 2016
E5/L5 capacity, used in combination with E1/L1, may become the next opportunity for innovative mass market applications.
E5/L5 capacity, used in combination with E1/L1, may become the next opportunity for innovative mass market applications.

Join the European GNSS Agency at ION GNSS+ – the world’s largest technical meeting and showcase of GNSS technology, products and services – to discover what’s next in smartphone innovation and mass market GNSS chipsets and the contribution of Galileo.  

Once thought to be only applicable to professional GNSS applications, soon Galileo and GPS will bring E5/L5 capacity that, used in combination with E1/L1, may become the next opportunity for innovative mass market applications. Thanks to research into the potential applicability to mass market chipsets conducted by the GSA, along with testing carried out by Broadcom, E5/L5 capability has the potential to become the second frequency for mass market use.

However, this development also raises a number of questions:

  • What are the advantages of using a second frequency?
  • Is E5/L5 the ideal second frequency for mass market use?
  • What barriers remain to bringing this innovation to consumers?

During a special session on Galileo and LBS, held in conjunction with ION GNSS+, experts from the GSA and Broadcom will provide insight into these questions and more. With Galileo Initial Services set to launch in the coming months, speakers will provide a general overview of the programme and the role it will play in Location Based Services (LBS), along with specifically addressing the advantages that E5/L5 capability offers chipsets and receivers. Experts will also explore what further actions are needed to ensure an effective implantation into the mass market.

‘With E5/L5 capability added to the E1/L1, chipsets and receivers will benefit from better accuracy, ionosphere error cancellation, improved code tracking pseudorange estimate and faster transition from code tracking to phase tracking, among others’, says GSA Market Development Officer, Reinhard Blasi, who will be speaking at the session.

‘The strength of the Galileo signal, together with an advanced code modulations, makes Galileo better at mitigating multipath effects – especially in E5. The combination of the two frequencies E1/L1 and E5/L5 significantly contributes to reducing errors in urban environments. This feature has already attracted the attention of the automotive sector and is now beginning to interest makers of consumer devices, such as the smartphones’, adds GSA Deputy Head of Market Development, Fiammetta Diani.

Galileo Becoming a Standard Feature

According to a recent GSA study, nearly 60% of all available receivers, chipset and modules support a minimum of two constellations. Of these, nearly 40% are Galileo compatible – a figure that is increasing every day. Furthermore, knowing that the top three providers of smartphone chips are on track to be Galileo compatible by the time Initial Services are declared later this year, the actual market share is likely to be much higher than the suggested 40%. All of this clearly shows that a multi-constellation capability that includes Galileo is becoming a standard feature across all market segments.

The session is scheduled for Thursday, 15 September from 16:00 – 16:45 in Room C124 of the Portland Convention Center. ION GNSS+, the world’s largest technical meeting and showcase of GNSS technology, products and services, runs from 12 – 16 September in Portland, Oregon (USA). More information and registration can be found here.

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Updated: Sep 09, 2016