Precise Positioning: centimeter-level positioning for the whole of Europe

• Deutsche Funkturm supports service from Deutsche Telekom and Swift Navigation
• Nationwide network of satellite access stations improves satellite data accuracy
• Available throughout Germany; further aggregation in Europe

Münster, May 24, 2021: The Precise Positioning service from Deutsche Telekom and Swift Navigation provides centimeter-level positioning for vehicles and autonomous machines in Germany, the United States, and large parts of Europe. The Deutsche Telekom subsidiary DFMG Deutsche Funkturm GmbH is now expanding the network in other countries. Network aggregation should be complete by the end of 2023, allowing the service to fulfill the strict accuracy and safety requirements throughout Europe.

Today’s satellite-based navigation systems such as GPS work with an accuracy of three to five meters. As such, the satellite-based positioning is too imprecise for cars, machines, robots, or drones to navigate autonomously and safely. To offset the technical inaccuracy of the satellite positioning, Deutsche Funkturm runs a network of antenna locations in Germany and large parts of Europe. These locations can correct the satellite data to deliver accuracy down to 10 centimeters.

 


How Precise Positioning works

A homogeneously distributed network of custom antennas collates the observation data. Each antenna receives signals from 40 to 50 satellites. On the basis of the antenna’s exact stationary geographical data the ultraprecise position correction data are calculated from the large volumes of collated data and transferred via mobile communication networks in real time to vehicles, drones, and autonomous machines.

“The data acquisition for Precise Positioning is based on carefully selected antenna locations. Our satellite access stations are distributed evenly at suitable locations without interference, allowing us to offer correction signals throughout Europe. For maximum precision, safety, and reliability we are continuing to expand Deutsche Telekom’s network with additional receiving stations throughout Europe,” says Bruno Jacobfeuerborn, CEO of DFMG Deutsche Funkturm GmbH.

Precise Positioning throughout Europe
The highest and most exposed satellite access station is located on the 3,000-meter high Gaislachkogel mountain in Austria. The most northerly is being planned on the North Cape; the most southerly will be built in Sicily, Crete, and the Canary Islands. From the Azores to the Black Sea many additional new antenna locations will supplement Deutsche Funkturm’s terrestrial Precise Positioning network over the next two years.

“Having commissioned the network nationwide in Germany, the next step focused on creating the legal and organizational prerequisites for the rest of Europe. Deutsche Telekom’s presence with its Group units operating in each of our target countries helped us here. Together we have acquired local partners in each market to set up the antenna locations,” says Hans-Arno Dahm, Project Manager for Precise Positioning at DFMG Deutsche Funkturm GmbH. Outside Europe, Deutsche Telekom and Swift also offer the Precise Positioning service all across the United States.

Precise Positioning is already the second successful European project for Deutsche Funkturm. As part of the European Aviation Network (EAN), which is run jointly between Deutsche Telekom and Inmarsat and provides in-flight mobile communications, the company has already set up around 300 base stations covering the entire European airspace. “The support for Precise Positioning is the next step as we develop from being Germany’s leading wireless infrastructure provider into becoming a European full-service tower company,” says Bruno Jacobfeuerborn.