Researchers at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands and Free University of Amsterdam and VSL have developed an alternative positioning system that is more powerful and accurate than GPS, especially in urban environments.

A working prototype demonstrating this new mobile network infrastructure achieved an accuracy of 10 centimeters, nearly 100 times more accurate than existing satellite navigation. This new technology is important for implementing a wide range of advanced location-based applications, including autonomous vehicles, quantum communications and next-generation mobile communication systems. The findings will be published (November 16) in the journal Nature.

The agency launched a project called SuperGPS to develop an alternative positioning system that uses mobile telecommunications networks rather than satellites and could be more accurate and reliable than GPS. “We realized that with some cutting-edge innovations, the telecommunications network could be transformed into a very precise alternative positioning system, independent of GPS,” says Jeroen Koelemeij of Vrije University Amsterdam. “We have successfully and successfully developed a system that can provide connectivity like existing mobile and Wi-Fi networks, and precise positioning and time distribution like GPS.

One of these innovations is connecting the mobile network to a very accurate atomic clock so that it can broadcast perfectly timed messages for positioning, just like GPS satellites do with the help of the atomic clocks they carry.

Once this technology is successfully applied to the field of life, the traditional wearable GPS devices will be completely replaced.