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GMV, FrontierSI, Ericsson and Optus prove 5G-based high-accuracy positioning

Trials in Australia are proving 5G LPP can support new positioning services. (Photo: GMV)

Trials in Australia are proving 5G LPP can support new positioning services. (Photo: GMV)

Several companies are joining to demonstrate 5G LTE Positioning Protocol (LPP) capabilities in field trials. The trials are part of the 5G Positioning Testbed funded under the Australian 5G Innovation Initiative.

Technology partners include GMV, FrontierSI, Ericsson and Optus, who are joining with industry demonstration partners Kondinin (an Australian town), Platfarm (a precision agriculture company) and Position Partners.

The results achieved by the project are considered a key step forward for the use of 5G technology for high-accuracy positioning. The testbed demonstrated each of the high accuracy GNSS-based LPP working modes, including Observation Space Representation (OSR), State Space Representation (SSR), and SSR with atmospheric corrections, integrated directly with user equipment supplied by demonstration partners to examine a variety of real-world applications. The field trials demonstrated that the solution can reach centimeter-level accuracy with fast convergence times using a commercial off-the-shelf receiver and antenna hardware.

GNSS precise positioning is the most common technology for calculating an absolute positioning solution at the user level. For uses requiring centimeter-level accuracy, it is often required to provide GNSS corrections to reduce errors.

Distribution of GNSS corrections is based on either the broadcast of precise point positioning (PPP) corrections through GEO satellites over the L-band, or the point-to-point transmission of real-time kinematic (RTK) corrections using NTRIP through the internet.

Both options have their drawbacks: GEO satellite broadcast requires complex ground infrastructure and can be expensive to maintain, while NTRIP distribution has poor scalability due to the point-to-point connections required for every user.

3GPP (3rd Generation Partnership Project) — the standards organization focusing on 5G LPP — recently introduced the support of OSR corrections for RTK users in Release 15, and the support of SSR plus atmospheric corrections for PPP/PPP-RTK users in Release 16.

Support for these two approaches to high-accuracy GNSS positioning have increased interest in 5G LPP as a potential alternative to existing correction services. Service providers and positioning consumers can now consider the use of 5G LPP as a supporting technology in the provision of new positioning services directly through mobile networks.

The 5G Positioning Testbed has achieved end-to-end demonstrations of high-accuracy positioning solutions using GMV’s Corrections Service and Positioning Engine, delivered through the Optus 5G network using Ericsson network technology, to user equipment designed and operated by FrontierSI.

Field trials conducted in Australia involved real-world scenarios across three areas: precision agriculture, drone operation and augmented reality.

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