Brussels, 18 Nov 2004
The European Commission is funding a new Sixth Framework Programme (FP6) project aimed at developing satellite positioning systems that work via professional wireless networks.
The project, LIAISON, will provide police forces, fire fighters, local authorities and other professional services with satellite positioning solutions compatible with all wireless telecom technologies including GSM/GPRS/UMTS and WLAN and Tetra. These solutions will allow users to send and receive positioning information using a mobile phone or any other mobile device, even in areas not generally covered by the GPS system, such as confined spaces, urban canyons, buildings and dense forests.
The European Commission will provide half of the total budget for the 42-month project, namely 10.5 million euro. The rest of the budget will be provided by the consortium of 34 partners, coordinated by the French multinational, Alcatel.
'Liaison is above all a response to the strong demand in professional markets for effective positioning solutions,' said Nicolas de Ledinghen, vice-president of navigation and aeronautical communications at Alcatel Space. 'We are delighted with our latest selection by the European Commission to lead a multidisciplinary European consortium in a project with numerous practical applications.'
The project will comprise three development stages, explains Alcatel. The first stage, Alpha, will lead to a prototype, Beta, which will incorporate new and added features. The third, pre-operational phase, will lead to a complete solution, set for commercialisation. Six user groups from various EU countries will be involved during the different stages in a variety of pilot projects.
The pilot projects will investigate the satellite positioning solutions in different scenarios, such as the possible development of a 'taxi pooling' system, better protection for mobile workers and enhanced waste collection.
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