NextNav, a leader in next generation GPS, announced the successful integration of its TerraPoiNT advanced location technology into GCT’s LTE chipset. GCT, a leading designer and supplier of advanced 4G and 5G solutions, will offer resilient 3D GPS equivalent performance into its GDM7243i chip. This integration enables NextNav’s TerraPoiNT capability to be brought into mass market applications such as timing for critical infrastructure, position/navigation for cars, IoT, and drone/eVTOL markets in GPS-challenged environments.
“As a leader in multi-system chipset systems, GCT is uniquely positioned to drive innovation in the increasingly important mass market applications for indoor and urban environments,” said Jeemee Kim, GCT Chief Technology Officer. “We are pleased to bring our best-in-class technologies together and to support the NextNav TerraPoiNT network with GCT’s GDM7243i chipset, which offers flexible architecture, a high fidelity wide area indoor/urban location capability with low power consumption, and connectivity suited for mass market devices.”
NextNav’s TerraPoiNT terrestrial-based network has an initial footprint across 47 major markets including a commercial scale deployment in the San Francisco market. TerraPoiNT is deployed much like a cellular network, but offers consistent Positioning, Navigation and Timing (PNT) services to every point within a covered metropolitan area, as well as accurate timing, horizontal positioning, and altitude information – particularly important capabilities for urban and indoor areas where GPS systems tend to be most challenged. TerraPoiNT provides a resilient, complementary layer to GPS, with signals 100,000 times stronger and an ability to operate independent of GPS. TerraPoiNT also has signal encryption, making it far less vulnerable to jamming or spoofing as is often the case with GPS signals. With an agile signal design, it can operate on a variety of spectrum bands.
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GCT’s GDM7243i chipset supports NextNav’s TerraPoiNT as well as LTE and GPS solutions, enabling a variety of use cases across positioning, navigation and timing.
- The chipset flexibly supports a range of frequencies including all of the LTE bands worldwide for further implementation across global markets including both the 920-928 MHz spectrum owned by NextNav within the United States, as well as the 855-860 MHz where NextNav’s TerraPoiNT operates in Japan.
- The RF front end of the chipset also supports a large signal dynamic range, i.e. from weakest signal below noise floor to strongest signal close to base-station/beacon. This dynamic range is required for a terrestrial system such as TerraPoiNT (complementing GNSS satellite-based signal processing).
- The chipset is designed for ultra low-power consumption and small size for mass market devices.
“We designed TerraPoint to complement GPS/GNSS services and to leverage existing chipset platforms and applications, minimizing implementation costs and easing service adoption,” said Dr. Arun Raghupathy, NextNav Co-Founder and Senior Vice President of Engineering. “By complementing TerraPoiNT receivers with commercial GCT chipset capabilities, we’ve reached a milestone in demonstrating that TerraPoiNT signals can be received on an LTE/GPS capable chipset hardware – all in a compact form-factor suitable for mass market devices. We’re thrilled that GCT’s scale and proven track record of delivering highly programmable chipsets will ensure broad availability of the high-quality 3D indoor positioning delivered by our TerraPoiNT network. We plan on mass market customer trials and commercial proof of concepts in the coming months leveraging GCT’s chipset.”
A 2021 Department of Transportation Report highlights the superior performance of NextNav location technology in side-by-side tests. NextNav was the only solution in the DOT test that addressed every use case for position, navigation, and timing, and functioned in all indoor and outdoor PNT scenarios, including airborne 3D positioning. In addition, it was the only technology capable of reporting a valid height or altitude estimate, enabling floor-level positioning.