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Monday, January 15, 2007

CSR: Bluetooth to GPS

CSR (Cambridge Silicon Radio) the world leading Bluetooth Chip provider (>50% market share) is to acquire NordNav Technologies AB (US$40m) and Cambridge Positioning Systems Ltd (US$35m) which will add Global Positioning Services to its portfolio of products. The aim is to produce an incremental sub-US$1 cost for a GPS chip which is a vast saving on the US$5-US$10 current cost.

I have been for a very long time wildly over-optimistic about the prospects for GPS and I'm hoping that CPS will finally crack the hardware market and take GPS in the mainstream with functionality in mid-stream phones.

We now need a lot more diverse innovation at the applications end of the market because, as much as I love Google and think their Maps product is great, we really need more than one player in this market. I would hope that some of the more forward thinking network operators are looking at the prime European asset which is TomTom and looking at developing more diverse applications than just directions.

I’m also a passionate believer in the Galileo Project which has been in the news recently for all the wrong reasons which are normally associated with EU projects ie funding and locations. I just hope everyone gets their act together and delivers.