Siemens Claims Wireless Tracking Breakthrough

The company announces at CeBIT a new triband module that integrates GSM, GPRS and GPS to handle tracking functions in various applications.

HANNOVER, Germany—Siemens AGs Siemens Mobile division announced at the CeBIT 2004 show here Wednesday a new triband module for handling tracking functions in various applications.

The new module, known as the XT55 GSM/GPRS/GPS module, integrates the GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) and GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) mobile communications technologies with GPS (Global Positioning System) satellite localization. Siemens claims to have developed the first technology that does this.

The technology, contained on a PC board, performs tracking functions in applications such as fleet management, vehicle positioning, navigation, and emergency and location-based services.

The GPS can determine the location of, say, a truck hauling freight. That data is transmitted via GSM/GPRS.

The XT55 module uses 12 parallel channels and temperature stabilizing crystal oscillators for faster, more precise satellite positioning, Siemens officials said. It also includes a TCP/IP stack for converting data streams into data packets, which makes GPRS traffic possible.

The XT55 transmits and receives on the 900, 1800 and 1900MHz frequencies and sends data packets at GPRS Class 10 rate. The module is available now and is expected to go into serial production by the end of this quarter.

The XT55 will enable machine-to-machine and man-to-machine communications, Siemens officials said.

"Machine-to-machine communication will grow in 2004, and man-to-machine communications will become more important," Rudi Lamprecht, president of Siemens Mobile and a member of the Siemens AG Managing Board, said during the companys news conference Wednesday morning.

In other news at the show, Siemens unveiled three new mobile phones, all of them multimedia message service (MMS) enabled, which company officials said will be the standard for all of the mobile phones Siemens brings to market this year.

"We look for multimedia messaging services to start to replace SMS [short message services] this year," said Lamprecht.

Siemens is also showing off an MMS-enabled fixed-network telephone as well as MMS reception on a television set at the show. Other new products being demoed include a push-to-talk version of the companys CX65 phone and a device to enable Internet telephony and e-mail over a cordless phone. All of these products are designed more for the consumer than the enterprise.

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