Chip manufacturers are very aware of the opportunities that dual frequency offers and, correspondingly, the market has witnessed the launch of a range of mass-market dual-frequency chips targeted at various applications. In turn, smartphone manufacturers also understand the benefits that these chips provide in terms of positioning accuracy for location based services and are eager to pass on these benefits to their users.
To date, there are 41 smartphone models on the market, from 10 manufacturers, offering dual-frequency capability. One of the most recent launches by a major manufacturer was the Galaxy Note10 and Galaxy Note10+ from Samsung Electronics, which hit the market in the second half of last year. Fitted with the Broadcom BCM47755 chip, these smartphones are the first from the South Korean multinational to provide dual-frequency GNSS capability.
Users of these and other dual-frequency smartphones are able to benefit from the increased accuracy and robustness of the GNSS signal, particularly in urban environments, as dual-frequency phones are more resistant to multipath errors. Developers too are able to leverage the enhanced accuracy offered by this dual-frequency capability to create new applications requiring high accuracy, robust positioning. Check on the UseGalileo site, to see if your smartphone has dual-frequency capability.
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The growing number of dual-frequency smartphones on the market clearly shows that the major electronics manufacturers understand the opportunities that this capability provides in terms of enabling a new generation of location based services. But there is one area in particular that will spark growing demand for dual frequency.
Dual-frequency – Galileo leads the way
According to the latest GNSS Market Report, published in October last year, for the 5G market in particular, the availability of accurate, cost effective and robust, dual-frequency GNSS systems will be critical in providing business opportunities. With the increased rollout of 5G internationally in the coming years, dual-frequency capability will be a key factor and we are likely to see an even greater number of compatible devices on the market.
This is good news for the Galileo system – dual-frequency capacity is a key Galileo differentiator, as the Galileo constellation has the highest number of dual-frequency satellites of any GNSS system. “Since the first dual-frequency GNSS smartphone hit the market back in June 2018, the trend has been towards increased implementation of dual-frequency capability in consumer platforms, allowing them to improve their location performance,” said European GNSS Agency (GSA) Head of Market Development Fiammetta Diani, adding that Galileo stands ready to support this trend.
Why is it important?
Dual-frequency capability means that the GNSS receivers are able to receive two GNSS signals at different frequencies from a satellite. In the case of Galileo, these frequencies are E1 and E5a. Dual frequency provides increased reliability to users – if one of the frequency bands fails, the other can be used as backup.
Other advantages of dual-frequency capability include a reduced signal acquisition time and improved accuracy of positioning and timing. Dual frequency also reduces problems caused by obstructions such as buildings and other obstacles, thanks to the fact that the L5/E5a signals are lower in frequency, making them are less prone to multipath interference errors.
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