Erik Steinmetz

More and more mobile phones are today equipped with GNSS hardware and software to turn the phones into handheld navigators. My idea is to make further use of all this already existing technology to facilitate reconnection to the mobile net in poor coverage areas. In the first generation mobile technology NMT the coverage was not a big problem and due to the low frequency each base station covered a large area, but with today’s technologies GSM and 3G (UMTS) the coverage has become a larger problem. This depends on the choice of frequency in order to obtain a higher data rate, which means that each base station covers a much smaller area, which finally results in a large amount of base stations being needed to reach full coverage. Therefore it is not economically viable for the telecom companies to implement full coverage. GSM today has area coverage of 60-70 % in Sweden and 3G is planned to have coverage of 40% when the systems are fully implemented. The main idea is to use mobile phone coverage maps in combination with the GNSS technology. When the mobile phone loses its connection to the mobile net (3G, GSM) the phone should point out the closest direction and at which distance the connection could be re-established. To make it even more user-friendly the mobile net coverage maps could be shown together with a map over the surroundings (including topography and road information etc.) on the phone display. With the map function the user could not only find the closest way back to coverage but also the easiest way.

This idea relies on GNSS and, thus on Galileo. The application could use all the GNSS systems and which means that it will use Galileo and the other two systems as a complement. As mentioned before, the application should be used in poor coverage areas, as for example in the north of Scandinavia. In these regions situated very far north, satellite geometry is not as good as for example in the equator regions. By using more satellites (possible with all three GNSS working together) the probability of having good satellite geometry will increase in these regions.

This application could be very important in emergency situations in poor coverage areas, e.g. in the north of Scandinavia. It could be useful for all people that stay in these areas as locals, hikers, tourists, commuters etc. As not all mobiles phones are provided with GNSS technology today, it could also be very useful to implement this application into handheld GNSS navigators and car navigators.

In case of emergency it is of great importance to be able to call for rescue as soon as possible. If for example your car stops or you have an accident in one of these areas you might walk in the wrong direction,
resulting in a much longer time until you can call for rescue. In a situation like this, this application could be the difference between life and death. It is also possible to expand the function so that it can provide information about the closest regular phone connection and hospital etc.

Mr. Erik Steinmetz
Skogsstigen 10
516 93 Rångedala