Mobile phones could soon have GPS in their SIM cards, bringing sat-nav functionality into every phone.

UK-based Blue Sky Positioning yesterday unveiled an innovative SIM card design which incorporates a GPS receiver and antenna. By simply switching a regular operator SIM card for the Blue Sky one, phone users could enable their phone instantly for sat-nav and location services.

Blue Sky Positioning is using its own patent-pending technology for the design. Its SIM card has A-GPS (Assisted - Global Positioning System) capability. Blue Sky claims its system has minimal impact on the phone's signal strength and battery life.

A-GPS uses mobile network-based technology as well as GPS satellites for fast and highly accurate location finding. A-GPS is particularly useful for providing precise location information in built-up areas and in buildings.

GPS for emergencies

Blue Sky Positioning's SIM-based GPS technology has been developed to enable phones for location-based services quickly and cheaply. This will help mobile operators comply with anticipated EU emergency caller-location regulations, which could be passed later this year. Widespread adoption of A-GPS technology will also enable mobile operators to offer a range of location-specific services and applications.

A spokesperson for Blue Sky Positioning told Tech.co.uk that the company was unable to confirm precise details of operator roll-out dates. But the technology would become available "over the next few months".