The European Union has introduced a new phone tracking system called Galileo. The system is designed to make your phone’s location 100 times more accurate. However, some believe that Galileo will also lead to privacy concerns.
Galileo is designed as an improvement to GPS, which is a navigation system originally created by the US military. GPS has become the global standard for device tracking. It’s what your phone uses to track your location.
While most people have heard of GPS, you probably haven’t heard of Galileo. It’s a new and improved version of GPS created specifically for civilian purposes. It’s part of a European Union technology project.
Maybe you’ve never heard of Galileo – but your phone might already be using it. New phones are already using Galileo’s satellite network to monitor your location. It’s just like GPS. The average user will not know the difference – although users may notice more accurate location data.
How Does Galileo Work?
Like other location tracking systems, Galileo is implemented into your phone at the chipset level. That means if your phone wants to access the Galileo network, then it needs to be built with a Galileo-enabled chipset.
According to reports, most major tech manufacturers are already in contact with the Galileo team. Phone manufacturers representing 95% of the world’s supply of smartphones are already producing Galileo-enabled phones.
Which Phones Have Galileo Phone Tracking?
Basically, if you’re using a new smartphone from a major manufacturer, and you purchased that phone within the last year, then you’re probably using a Galileo-enabled phone. You’ll find the complete list of Galileo-enabled phones below:
- Apple: iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone 8, iPhone 10/X
- BQ: Aquaris V Plus, Aquaris V, Aquaris X5 Plus, Aquaris X, Aquaris X Pro
- Google: Pixel 2, Google Pixel 2 XL
- Huawei: P10 plus, Mate 9 pro, P10, Mate 10 Pro, Mate 9
- LG: V30
- Mediatek: Meizu Pro 7 Plus, Meizu Pro 7
- Motorola: Moto X4
- Nokia: Nokia 8
- Oneplus: Oneplus5
- Samsung: S8, S8+, Note 8
- Sony: Xperia XZ Premium
- Vernee: Apollo 2
If you use any of these smartphones, then your phone has a Galileo-enabled chipset inside. That means any time you’re tracking your location, you’re using Galileo satellites instead of traditional GPS systems.
What’s the Difference Between Galileo and GPS?
Does it really matter if your phone is using Galileo or GPS?
Today, GPS struggles to track your location in urban areas – particularly in areas surrounded by buildings. In these conditions, GPS might only be accurate to 100 or 50 meters. If you’re driving on a freeway, that’s not good enough. GPS can’t tell you which lane you’re driving in, for example.
Galileo fixes that problem using dual frequency technology. This technology can pinpoint your location with less than one meter of error in the best possible conditions. In less than ideal conditions, it will pinpoint your accuracy by just a few meters.
Dual frequency basically just means that your phone has two sources it can use to determine your location.
Eventually, Galileo will have twice as many satellites in orbit as today’s GPS systems. That should provide significantly better coverage in urban areas.
The end result is better navigation on your smartphone and more accurate location data. That means better driving instructions from your maps app, but it also means emergency services can respond to a call with better location information.
Galileo can also be used for unique purposes. Some parents might use it for “geofencing”, for example, where they receive an automatic alert if their child leaves a certain “geofenced” area – like their house or neighborhood.
Most new smartphones already use the Galileo network – so you can expect better location tracking on your smartphone in the future.