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Loopt strikes a deal to make massive use of GPS data cost effective (venturebeat.com)
14 points by gaika on July 25, 2008 | hide | past | web | favorite | 7 comments

I'm confused here. I assume a "dip" is actually cell phone triangulation rather than GPS? (The media never seems to know the difference between the two, and calls anything that tries to figure out where you are "GPS".) There's no reason why actual GPS should have a per-usage fee and need approval from the cell carriers right?

It's even more confusing; they made deals with chip vendors. Why would you have to pay a chip vendor for each GPS data point? This smells like two-sided business models run wild.

Eric Carr from Loopt discusses the various positioning technologies available on mobile phones in depth on TechCrunch:


Actual (unassisted) GPS is free when the device supports it, but is typically slow to first fix, power intensive, and rarely works indoors.

Perhaps they meant assisted GPS.

SiRF makes GPS chipsets, so it's definitely GPS they're talking about.

It seems crazy to me that GPS chipset manufacturers get away with charging a per-usage fee.

GPS data is as close to "free" as you can get. It's a one-way satellite-to-earth transmission; bandwidth speeds are huge, and the size of the data transferred is minimal.

Consider the number of free satellite TV broadcasts. Take into account the sheer size of the hi-def audio/video feeds. Compare that to a latitude/longitude packet sent from a GPS satellite.... see what I mean?

The amount of "data" (whatever that means) might be small, but it's a highly redundant signal, that's the way it works. You can't compare the two.

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