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Components | October 03, 2011

u-blox acquires SigNav IP

u-blox, the Swiss positioning and wireless chip and module company, has acquired all assets and intellectual property of Australia-based SigNav, a 15-year veteran in precision-timing and reference frequency technologies required by consumer femtocell and mobile basestation applications.
“The acquisition of all assets and IP of SigNav enhances our market position, particularly for the huge femtocell market on a global scale. Their know-how, software and equipment reinforces our dominant position in GPS precision timing, a market where u‑blox is already very strong” said Thomas Seiler, u-blox CEO.

Femtocell base station shipments were approximately 2 million units in 2010, and are expected to grow to 12 million units by 2014.

Femtocell technology is attractive to telecom service providers as it allows them to deliver 2G/3G/4G mobile communications services via the Internet, for example ADSL or cable. The service is then distributed wirelessly to users in localized areas such as home or office via small femtocell basestations. This approach lowers the cost of serving consumers by eliminating the requirement for large, expensive cellular basestations.

The technology also extends mobile phone coverage to remote or weak signal strength areas while extending battery life of mobile phones and improving voice quality. Femtocell technology relies on a precision time reference to insure adherence to stringent radio frequency broadcast requirements.

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