For years, various gadgets used single-frequency GPS for location. But recently, some flagship and high-end gadgets have started using the second GPS frequency known as L5. But what is GPS L5 and how does it increase positioning accuracy?

GPS signal

Although the Global positioning System or GPS in Originally designed for the US military, it now plays a vital role in the lives of billions of people. From turn-by-turn directions to providing addresses to get food, GPS is used in a wide range of areas. But for years, L1 technology was used for GPS, which is an old technology.

Although L1 technology It provides good accuracy, but if the GPS signal is reflected by buildings, terrain and other objects, the accuracy of the receiver will decrease for positioning. The basis of positioning with GPS is based on determining the distance of the device to the desired satellites. So these reflections cause different problems and show different distance from the signal. Also, L1 signals are not very effective for crossing physical obstacles.

So the US government decided to update GPS technology. As part of these efforts, the US government introduced three new GPS signals for regular users, L2, L5 and L1C. The L1C signal is still in the early stages of development and has not been operationalized. Although the development of L2 and L5 is over, there are currently more satellites broadcasting L2 signals than L5.

While both L2 and L5 signals are stronger than L1 signals and have more bandwidth. , the L5 performs better in almost everything, including handling obstacles and multipath errors. Also, L2 is supposed to be used together with L1 signal to increase its accuracy. On the other hand, the L5 signal can be used independently. The side of satellites started and currently 17 satellites are being used with the ability to send this signal. In general, when the number of satellites of a GPS signal is less than the range of 18-24, it is considered as a signal based on limited application. Therefore, for the L5 GPS signal to be considered practical, the number of satellites equipped with this technology must be increased by at least 1 number. By 2027, 24 satellites based on this technology are supposed to go into space.

Why is GPS L5 so important?>

As mentioned, L5 is the most advanced GPS signal available for civilian use. Therefore, manufacturers of consumer devices such as smartphones, fitness trackers, in-car navigation systems and smart watches implement this feature for their products so that users can face the best features and experience in the field of GPS.

One of the key advantages of the L5 signal is that it uses the 1176.45 MHz radio frequency reserved for worldwide air navigation. In this way, companies no longer have to worry about interference from other radio waves on this frequency, such as broadcast television, radars, and any terrestrial navigation aids.

With L5 data, your device can access more advanced methods to Determine which signals have less error, and as a result, positioning accuracy increases. This issue is very important for areas where the GPS signal is received in a distorted form. In such situations, the L5 signal can bring higher accuracy thanks to the greater bandwidth it has.

Also in dense urban areas where there are many buildings and even in indoor environments, users with the L5 signal They can determine their location faster than before. So all in all, devices that use the L5 GPS signal receive more accurate data than older technologies.

Which devices use the L5 signal> do they support?

Companies in recent years , have turned to using L5 signal next to L1. Xiaomi Mi 8 is the first smartphone to receive this feature in 2018. But since then, the number of gadgets based on this technology has increased. For example, we can mention Apple Watch Ultra smart watch and Pixel 4, 5 and 6 phones. A number of Samsung flagships also use this feature.

The easiest way to find out if your phone supports L5 signal is to use the GPSTest and GNSSLogger apps. You can also check the technical specifications of your phone on the Internet.

L5 limited to No GPS

In the field of global positioning technology, GPS is not the only available technology, but it is considered the most popular. In this context, we should also mention BeiDou (China), Galileo (Europe), IRNSS (India) and QZSS (Japan) systems, all of which support the L5 signal. The Glonass system (Russia) is supposed to start supporting this technology by 2025 by sending suitable satellites.

Some gadgets support several global positioning systems and because of this, they can be much more accurate.


Overall, L5 signals offer significant benefits to GPS, but as we said, the US government still has the number of satellites. related to this technology has not increased much and therefore we will have to wait a few more years to enjoy all the benefits of this technology.

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