Beyond GPS: Which Alternative Positioning Technologies Will Provide Indoor Coverage?

GPS technology is conquering the world. More applications are making use of satellite-based positioning, from precision agriculture to network timing and synchronization systems. GPS-based consumer navigation devices have reached mass market status; sales figures will soon reach 100 million units per year. The benefits of GPS are undeniable: it is ubiquitous and always available, high-accuracy positioning. GPS works at all times under all weather conditions. The modernization of the GPS system and the launch of additional GNSS systems such as Galileo will further improve the availability, reliability, and precision of satellite positioning. However, GPS has two major flaws: the signals broadcast by the satellites are too weak to be received indoors in places such as shopping malls, and in dense urban environments not enough satellites are visible to obtain positioning fixes in a reasonable time. In this ABI Insight, we’ll examine how GPS can reach its full potential, using alternative positioning technologies to provide seamless location capability in indoor environments or whenever a clear view of the sky is obstructed.

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