TruePosition alleges plot against its 9-1-1 location system

It has sued Qualcomm, Ericsson and Alcatel-Lucent, saying they tried to block its technology from standards

TruePosition, the developer of technology used by some carriers to pinpoint 9-1-1 calls, says Ericsson, Qualcomm and Alcatel-Lucent have worked together to keep TruePosition's technology out of next-generation networks in favor of their own technology.

In a lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, TruePosition also names the standards-setting bodies 3GPP and ETSI, which it said failed to ensure fair and objective standards development.

TruePosition alleged that Ericsson, Qualcomm and Alcatel-Lucent, all of which have patents related to a competing location technology, placed their employees as chairmen of standards-setting groups in order to deliberately exclude TruePosition's technology from the LTE (Long-Term Evolution) standard. LTE is the next-generation or "4G" mobile technology being deployed by most operators.

The companies had the shared goal to "seize unfair competitive advantages for the positioning technologies in which they hold economic interests," TruePosition alleged in the suit.

The chairmen set unfair test parameters for TruePosition's technology far in excess of the parameters set for their favored technologies, the company said. They submitted deliberately skewed simulation results and deliberately shuttled evaluations of TruePosition's technology into working groups they controlled for the purpose of "quashing" inclusion of competitive technologies in the standard, according to the suit.

TruePosition's technology is used by both T-Mobile and AT&T, which together have installed it in 90,000 base stations in the U.S., TruePosition said.

The company said it has had trouble with base station providers before. Around 2001, base station vendors had developed their own positioning technology that they included in their products. But according to TruePosition, once the technology was deployed, it failed to meet accuracy requirements set by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission.

TruePosition's technology could meet those requirements, but there was no standard way to connect its equipment with the base stations. TruePosition created a way to do so, but it was expensive and opposed by Ericsson, TruePosition said. As a result, operators asked the base station providers to get together and create a standard and thus inexpensive way to interface with TruePosition's technology. They agreed, and that standard interface was then included in future mobile standards, including for 3G, TruePosition said. That standard enabled TruePosition to sell its technology to operators.

It's with the move to 4G that the base station makers are trying to include only their technology, which is based on the same system that failed initially, TruePosition said.

Alcatel-Lucent declined to comment on the lawsuit. Qualcomm said that it only learned of the complaint on Wednesday and is in the process of reviewing it. Ericsson did not reply to a request for comment.

TruePosition is asking for damages and protection against further anticompetitive activity.

Nancy Gohring covers mobile phones and cloud computing for The IDG News Service. Follow Nancy on Twitter at @idgnancy. Nancy's e-mail address is Nancy_Gohring@idg.com

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Ericssonantitrustalcatel-lucentlegalqualcommmobileTruePosition

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Nancy Gohring

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?