I thought I'd share some interesting learnings about how the BB 8830 GPS works from my own recent good/bad experience: Observation 1:
I have a TELUS 8830 - which of course comes GPS enabled. I've always noticed that anytime a GPS location is requested you can see the device communicating with "something" (given away by the fact that the data transfer arrows flash in the top right). This, and the fact that the GPS does NOT work when there is no cell coverage, is pretty much a dead giveaway that this is some form of assisted GPS. It does use satellites to determine a position, but it gets the satellite ephemeris and other data via the network. This server is called a PDE (position determining entity) or MPC (mobile positioning centre). Observation 2:
I recently saw on this forum that Verizon Navigator was released. I thought I would give it a try (fully realizing that it was unlikely to actually work, but I wanted to see what it looked like). I installed it, it didn't work (as expected) and I deleted it. Later that day I fired up Google Maps (which I have always had and has always worked) and it said "Signal too weak to determine location". I thought: "That's odd - never seen that before." I went outdoors and tried again. No dice. BB Maps didn't work either. I started to sweat. Reinstalled GMaps. Still no workie. Wiped the handheld and reinstalled the OS from scratch. No dice. I realized I was scr*wed. My internal GPS no longer worked. Now what?
After fruitless calls to TELUS tech support I came to the sad conclusion that I had done something horrible to my phone and would need a handheld swap (still under warranty of course).
But still it bothered me: how could the GPS have worked before, and yet even reloading the OS did not fix it!? What could VZW Nav have done to my device that is stored somewhere other than the flash memory?!
After a couple of days I had an inspiration: I fired up QPST 2.7 and read the service programming configuration from the CDMA chipset (fortunately I have my MSL). I browsed through, and stopped when I came to the "gpsOne" tab. I noticed that while "Allowed" was checked off, the PDE IP address was set to "127.0.0.1". The loopback address?? "That can't be right!" I thought. But what should
Fortunately, I had a saved QPST configuration from an earlier HTC S720 handset - I checked that and found that sure enough there was supposed to be a real address in that spot: 216.198.xxx.xxx (I'm not including the actual address here). "No - it couldn't be that easy! Could it?"
I entered the new address, wrote it to the phone and rebooted. Surprise, surprise - my internal GPS worked again! Conclusion:
VZW Nav appears to wipe out the PDE address stored in the CDMA chipset. Why? Presumably to help VZW enforce their block against third-party software using the internal GPS. Maybe, just maybe - if the appropriate address of the VZW PDE was entered in that field on a VZW 8830, then maybe it would unlock the internal GPS. I have no way of knowing (not a VZW customer) and leave it as an exercise for the reader. Disclaimer:
Messing around with any of the above may brick your phone and I accept no responsibility if you do so. Also, don't ask me for a copy of QPST or your MSL - you are on your own for locating those.