Alcatel-Lucent recently partnered with Polaris Wireless and Thales Alenia Space to create a hybrid geographic positioning service designed to address issues that commercial carriers face while maintaining 2G, 3G and 4G networks.

Known as the Alcatel-Lucent Positioning Service (ALPS), the solution uses a range of technologies to support location-based services, from commercial applications to E-911 reporting. Most notably, the solution leverages the terrestrial, network-based solution from Polaris Wireless — typically more accurate in urban settings — and the satellite-based solution from Thales Alenia Space, which tends to be more accurate in more rural environments.

"This type of service needs to be highly accurate to provide the best results for phone operators carrying out applications such as E-911, as well mobile marketing," Alcatel-Lucent said in a prepared statement. "Alcatel-Lucent, Polaris, and Thales have very strong capabilities which, now pooled into a single offering, represent a high return on investment for carriers looking to implement location-based applications."

Most important, ALPS is a “Frankenstein solution” that combines myriad key technological characteristics that allow it to work in today’s network environment, in which carriers have different networks, different handsets and a need for backward compatibility, said Jean-Phillippe Balberde, location-based services solutions manager for Alcatel-Lucent.

“The idea was to solve all of those issues” to “ease the life of operators,” Balberde said during an interview.

Polaris Wireless CTO Martin Feuerstein echoed this sentiment.

“What we put together is a platform that’s really plug and play,” Feuerstein said during an interview.