Skyhook Wireless

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FounderTed Morgan and Michael Shean
Key people
Craig Waggy, CEO
ProductsWi-Fi Positioning System (WPS)
ServicesLocation Based Services & Positioning Technologies
Number of employees

Skyhook is a location technology company based in Boston, MA that specializes in location positioning, context and intelligence. Founded in 2003, Skyhook originally began by geolocating Wi-Fi access points and evolved with the idea that hybrid positioning technology, which incorporates Wi-Fi, GPS, cell towers, IP address and device sensors, could improve device location.


Skyhook was founded in 2003 by Ted Morgan and Michael Shean.[1] Skyhook's database was initially gathered through wardriving,[2] when the company sent teams of drivers around the United States, Canada, Western Europe and selected Asian countries to map out Wi-Fi hot spots.[3]

Skyhook powers location-based services for companies such as Apple, Samsung, Sony, HP, Dell, Sharp, Philips and MapQuest.[4]

The firm received its first patent in 2007, and as of early 2020 holds over 650 patents across the United States and foreign markets.

In 2010 Skyhook sued Google over the use of Wi-Fi locator technology in cell phones.[5] The complaint claimed that Andy Rubin, Google's Vice President for Engineering, gave Sanjay K. Jha, Chief Executive of Motorola's mobile devices division, a “stop ship” order, preventing Motorola from shipping phones with the Android operating system using the Skyhook software. The litigation was settled in 2015: Skyhook  received $90 million in settlement with the tech giant, a third of which was consumed by legal fees.[6] The figure was revealed in a securities filing by Liberty Broadband Corp., Skyhook's Colorado-based parent company.[7]

In February 2014, Skyhook Wireless was acquired by TruePosition Inc, a subsidiary of Liberty Broadband.[8] In 2016, the two companies merged under the Skyhook brand, which now rests under Liberty Broadband, which is a part of the Liberty Media family.

In 2016 Skyhook launched new products dedicated to the advertising technology market: Retailer Personas, Power Personas, and On-Demand Personas. These solution, based on Skyhook's processing of billion location points, help marketers finely target consumers based on where they have been in order to personalize mobile marketing campaigns.[9]

In February 2019 Skyhook announced that it is working closely with Qualcomm Technologies to bring Wi-Fi positioning and location-assistance services based on Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear platforms.[10]

In February 2020 Deutsche Telekom announced that Skyhook was among its new technology partners for IoT Solution Optimizer, an ecosystem of company developed to “scale-up IoT business faster, and support enterprises of all sizes wanting to succeed in the Internet of Things.“[11]

In April 2020 Skyhook partnered with Kyocera to provide accurate location services to DuraXV Extreme, a rugged flip phone.[12]


To pinpoint location, Skyhook uses a reference network composed of the known locations of over 4 billion Wi-Fi access points and 200 million cellular towers, As of 2020. Skyhook's coverage area includes most major metro areas in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia. The system can also be used to enhance the performance of GPS enabled devices where GPS reception is weak.

Precision Location SDK[edit]

Skyhook offers a software development kit (SDK), which allows developers to create location-enabled applications using Skyhook's software-only Hybrid Positioning System on the platform of their choice.

The SDK supports Android 2.2 (Froyo), 2.3.x (Gingerbread), 4.0.x (Ice Cream Sandwich), and 4.1.x (Jelly Bean), 4.4 (KitKat), 5.0-5.1 (Lollipop), and 6.0 (Marshmallow) including forked platforms such as the Kindle Fire, along with Linux, Windows, and Mac OS X.[13]

Context SDK[edit]

In 2013, Skyhook launched Context, which uses Skyhook's location network along with venue data to give mobile users awareness of the world around them. It enables personalized mobile experiences and enhanced revenue opportunities using 1st Party Location Network and precisely located venues.

The SDK requires iOS 6.0+ and a device with region monitoring support: iPhone 4+, iPad (Wi-Fi only) 3+, iPad (Wi-Fi+Cell) 2+, iPad mini, iPad Air, iPod Touch 5+. The Android SDK is supported on Android 2.2 (Froyo), 2.3.x (Gingerbread), 4.0.x (Ice Cream Sandwich), 4.1.x-4.3 (Jelly Bean), 4.4 (KitKat), 5.0-5.1 (Lollipop), and 6.0 (Marshmallow) including forked platforms such as the Kindle Fire.


Skyhook's main competitors include Google, HERE, Unwired Labs, Mozilla and Combain. The later was sued by Skyhook in 2019.[14] They finally announced a collaboration in a common press release issued in April 2020.[15]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Jobs, iPhone have Skyhook pointed in right direction -". Retrieved 2020-09-01.
  2. ^ How It Works: Coverage, Skyhook
  3. ^ Wortham, Jenna (2009-05-31). "Cellphone Locator System Needs No Satellite". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-09-01.
  4. ^ Glass, Jeffrey. "Welcome to the New Skyhook Website". Retrieved 2020-09-01.
  5. ^ Furchgott, Roy (2010-09-15). "Competitor Sues Google Over Location Software for Smartphones". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-09-01.
  6. ^ Newsham, Jack (19 May 2015). "Skyhook got $61 million from Google settlement". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 2020-09-01.
  7. ^ "lbrda_Current folio_10Q". Retrieved 2020-09-01.
  8. ^
  9. ^ "Skyhook launches its new Personas to help solve a $100B industry problem". VentureBeat. 2016-03-07. Retrieved 2020-09-01.
  10. ^ "News of Note—Vodafone Spain confirms 5G 2020 plans; Skyhook's work with Qualcomm, plus more". FierceWireless. Retrieved 2020-09-01.
  11. ^ "Deutsche Telekom wins new partners for IoT Solution Optimizer". Deutsche Telekom AG. Retrieved 2020-09-01.
  12. ^ "Kyocera Selects Skyhook to Power Precision Location Services for Rugged DuraXV Extreme". 2020-04-16. Retrieved 2020-09-01.
  13. ^ Skyhook SDK
  14. ^ "Skyhook Wireless, Inc. et al v. Combain AB". Retrieved 2020-09-01.
  15. ^

External links[edit]