Android Central

Sony (Ericsson) has taken to its mobile Developer World blog to confirm thats 2011 Xperia smartphones, as well as the recently-announced Xperia S and Xperia Ion, fully support the Russian GLONASS positioning service in addition to GPS. GLONASS is run by the Russian Aerospace Defense Forces, and performs similar tasks to GPS, but operates independently of it. By using information from both systems, it's possible to get a more accurate fix of your location in built-up areas where GPS alone may struggle.

Sony says that all its devices equipped with Snadragon S2 and S3 chips fully support both GLONASS and GPS for improved location-tracking accuracy. That means if you have a 2011 Xperia phone, or you're planning on picking up an Xperia S or Ion, you may have an edge over devices which only support GPS. For more technical info, head over to SE's blog post in the source link.

Source: SE Developer World

 
There are 8 comments

I see the US Government stepping in and forcing carriers to disable GLONASS in their devices due to "National Security concerns".

kenyee says:

Tempting..what other phones have GLONASS support?

Auzo says:

This has less to do with GLONASS + GPS as much as it has to do with a larger number of satellites in total that can be used to calculate location. If either GLONASS or GPS had the same number of total satellites than they would have the same precision.

We need at least 4 satellites to calculate location (X, Y, Z, Time). If I only have 4 sats then if any one of the data streams I am receiving from them have errors in them (weak signal for example can add error) my location will be off. Now if I have 40 sats to work with I can average out the error and have a very precise location.

In the end more is better for consumers so I am all for this.

DaveWW00 says:

This is mostly true. First you dont need four satellites for x,y,z, & time. to greatly simplify things, all the gps satellites are doing is sending out the time and the unit is comparing the differences in all of them. the four satellies are needed because the intersection of the first two satellites give a circle, the third two points, and the fourth gives you one point (your location).

Like Auzo said, all having both systems on one device is going to do for you is increase the chance of getting a sufficient number of signals to get a location. This will help particularly in urban or wooded areas where signals get reflected or blocked. This will increase the accuracy slightly but the accuracy is still going to be in the range of 15-20 feet at best which the graphic in this article shows. Unless you are able to connect to a differential source to correct for all the errors you cant get much better than this. Considering our differential gps for surveying here at work cost in the tens of thousand of dollars I seriously doubt they have that built into a phone.

Auzo says:

GPS satellites not only send out time but also corrections to their own orbital location which are stored by the receivers. The receivers need to know exactly where the satellites are in addition to their distance.

Small_law says:

It's just the latest Soviet plot to control our minds, like Tetris was.

icebike says:

The GPS system also has local correction supplied by ground based GPS transmitters located at well known points. Such as near major airports. Obviously the US system has no such correction facilities in all parts of the world, none in Russian territory. Same for the Russian GLONASS system.

So accuracy is unlikely to be improved in western countries by using a dual system.

I see this as more of a sales region expansion, allowing these phones a better market in eastern Europe and eurasia.

planoman says:

My Galaxy Note has this system and it makes my GNote accurate to 2 meters and fast GPS locking! The GNote can capture from 57 satellites in orbit versus 27 or so in the US GPS system. Looks like the Sony phones will have the same.