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Skyhook Wireless Announces Commercial Availability of the Wi-Fi Positioning System Across Top 25 Metropolitan Areas.

BOSTON -- Industry's First Wi-Fi Positioning System Now Available to Vendors of Location Based Services and Applications

Skyhook Wireless announced today the commercial availability of the Wi-Fi Positioning System (WPS), the first wide-area positioning system leveraging 802.11, or Wi-Fi, rather than satellite or cell-tower-based technologies. The system is now available for deployment by application developers and device manufacturers across the largest 25 metropolitan areas of the United States. The precise location of any Wi-Fi enabled device, including a PC, laptop, PDA, Tablet PC, Smartphone or RFID tag, can be determined without adding any new hardware. WPS includes a reference database of over 1.5 million private and public access points along with their locations within these metropolitan areas. The WPS client software utilizes this reference database to calculate a device's location to within 20-40 meters.

Vendors of location-based services and applications can now appeal to a large number of users and devices by adding a reliable and easy to use location system without having to alter their systems or provide new hardware. "As we deploy our location platform, we intend to be location agnostic," said Alan Phillips, CEO of uLocate, a leading provider of wireless location-based services. "The Skyhook Wireless system allows us to appeal to a much wider set of devices and service providers while simplifying our deployment needs."

The market for location-based services has begun to emerge but has been hampered to date by the limitations of traditional positioning systems. These systems call for new hardware in mobile devices, require line-of-site views of orbiting satellites, and suffer from reliability issues in urban areas. The Wi-Fi Positioning System leverages the existing 802.11 hardware already resident in over 100 million devices today. According to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, the vast majority of new laptops and PDA's sold last year included embedded Wi-Fi as a standard component.

Key features of the Skyhook Wireless Wi-Fi Positioning System include:

--Metro area positioning - coverage extends 10-15 miles from downtown centers

--No line of site requirement - works equally well indoors and outdoors

--Urban reliability - WPS performs best in dense urban environments

--Instant location - WPS takes less than second to calculate location

--Signal fingerprinting - Detailed channel modeling techniques provide accurate and consistent readings

--Self-healing network - WPS users optimize the reference database while using the system

--Virtual GPS capability - WPS is NMEA compliant including velocity and bearing calculations

"Skyhook's novel WPS offering takes new advantage of the huge (and still rapidly growing) installed base of Wi-Fi access points," said Craig J. Mathias, a principal with the wireless and mobile advisory firm Farpoint Group (Ashland, MA). "We see wide-area positioning services like WPS as key to future mobile commerce, location-based services, tracking, mapping public safety, and many other applications. The opportunity is huge."

"We are very excited to announce the production launch of Skyhook Wireless' Wi-Fi Positioning System," said CEO Ted Morgan. "With our network now covering the top 25 metropolitan areas of the United States, we offer a compelling alternative to traditional positioning systems. With the market set to explode, the applications for Wi-Fi positioning software are endless including search and recovery, E911, proximity advertising, and fleet management. We look forward to serving this very dynamic market and contributing to its rapid development."

WPS is currently available on Windows XP and Windows Mobile devices and will be available on the Palm operating system this summer. Skyhook Wireless offers a variety of pricing packages based on the number of end users and an annual subscription to the location database.

About Skyhook Wireless

Founded in 2003, Skyhook Wireless has pioneered the development of the first-ever metro-area positioning system that leverages Wi-Fi rather than satellites or cell towers to deliver precise location data supporting the growing market for location-based services. The Skyhook Wi-Fi Positioning System (WPS) requires no new hardware, works indoors and outdoors, provides an instant location and is more accurate than current technologies in congested downtown areas. Skyhook Wireless is headquartered in Boston, MA and is privately held. For more information on the company and its Wi-Fi positioning system, visit, send email to or call 781.898.0495

Note to Editors: The following URLs link to images of detailed coverage maps for the Wi-Fi Positioning System from Skyhook Wireless. Each red triangle represents a Wi-Fi access point in the Skyhook database
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Jun 20, 2005
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