Andrew Solutions announced it has upgraded its GeoLENs mobile location center (MLC) to deal with the growing number of location queries in both the commercial-location-services and E-911 worlds.

Version 10 of its MLC — the system platform of the company's GeoLENs wireless and wireline location solution—is designed to help wireless operators control bandwidth use by increasing processing capacity by several orders of magnitude, the company said. This means the platform can handle about 1,000 simultaneous transactions per second for location requests, said Martin Dawson, director of mobile location with Andrew.

"The capacity increase is driven by the explosive growth in mass-market location-based applications," he said.

A complete location system that supports both gateway and serving functions for emergency, valued added and security location-based services (LBS), the MLC 10 also includes features to help improve the performance of Assisted-GPS (A-GPS) for E-911 applications. One feature is a smart virtual device cache technology designed to improve A-GPS yield for emergency calls, regardless of the calling-device limitations, the company said.

Dawson said operators using A-GPS for location have experienced problems on many devices. When a PSAP requests an accurate and/or updated location of a device, a GPS result may be determined on one request but fail to be provided on a subsequent request, even if that request occurs only seconds after the prior one. "It is a fact of life that GPS can be this unpredictable," Dawson said.

Dawson said the GeoLENs MLC already supports an intelligent polling option for E-911 that operators can use to ensure that an up-to-date and accurate location is available as soon as possible when requested by a PSAP, but the erratic performance of some A-GPS-enabled devices means a higher-quality GPS result from an initial location request may be dumped when a second request is put through, even if GPS fail on the next request.

"This can lead to a lower-accuracy, cell-based location being returned, when the first GPS result would have been superior," Dawson said. "Smarter handsets will cache a GPS result, and if GPS fails on a subsequent request within a small amount of time, they can return the cached result instead. Unfortunately not all handsets do this."

With this in mind, the virtual device cache feature provides that caching functionality on behalf of the device — stored in the gateway mobile location center, not in the device. That gives operators the option to store the result and, if a subsequent request for location fails, the GPS result can be returned from the cache.

GeoLENs supports handset-based, network-based, and hybrid locating technologies for 2G and 3G access — specifically, cell identity (CID), A-GPS, enhanced-CID (E-CID), uplink time difference of arrival (U-TDOA) on the traffic channel, multiple range estimation location (MREL) and angle of arrival (AOA).

The company said the extended capacity of the platform and the ability to support a number of location methods let operators consolidate all location functions for an entire network onto a single GeoLENs MLC.