A wireless operator said earlier this week that it successfully embedded GPS hardware into a normal SIM chip, potentially allowing all devises to use location based services.

Wireless operator EMT, the Estonian subsidiary of TeliaSonera, said tests of BlueSky Positioning's A-GPS technology were successful.

BlueSky Positioning's GPS silicon is embedded on a SIM card, allowing non-GPS phones to use geo-location services. EMT is the leading operator in Estonia with 47 percent market share.

Our preliminary test results with A-GPS in-SIM technology have demonstrated compelling accuracy coupled with a fast TTFF (time-to-first-fix), comparable to any commercial A-GPS handsets in the market. A-GPS SIM technology opens up a whole range of possibilities for both EMT and its subscribers, said Argo Kivilo, R&D Manager at EMT.

Not only this, but in light of the newly updated EU E112 directive, operators must be able to provide location data on nearly all emergency calls on their network within the next 18 months. BlueSky Positioning's technology will be essential in ensuring this happens.

The tests were conducted using both GPRS and USSD (Unstructured Supplementary Services Data) for retrieving assistance data in a live 3G network.

EMT tested the SIM card with 13 different phones from low end to high-end.

Another benefit is that USSD can be used concurrently with a voice call.