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Next Five Years: Personal Navigation to Remain Most Popular LBS App

While many innovative LBS (Location Based Services) applications such as friend finders and location-based search will be launched by carriers in the next few years, personal navigation will remain the most important LBS category providing high value and clear benefits to end users.

But according to ABI Research principal analyst Dominique Bonte, “Enterprise LBS applications for asset and vehicle tracking and work force management will become an important revenue generator for carriers in the future as companies will increasingly deploy mobile solutions to reduce costs, increase efficiency and improve customer service. As the reliability and performance of mobile enterprise solutions improves and the concerns about maintenance costs, data protection and integrity are addressed, corporations will increasingly adopt mobile solutions and LBS applications in their daily activities.”

An important opportunity exists for providers of location-based platforms such as Mobile Location Centers (MLCs). Ericsson, Telecommunications Systems (TCS) and Nokia Siemens Networks will be able to grow their LBS infrastructure business lines as carriers globally deploy LBS solutions.

The US has been the leading region for LBS deployments by carriers due to the E911 emergency calling regulation which has resulted in the ubiquitous availability of GPS-based CDMA handsets, but it is expected that Europe and Asia-Pacific will catch up as GSM handsets with built-in GPS receivers become widely available.

Carriers may not be the only players to benefit from this trend, as independent application and software providers are starting to offer carrier-independent LBS solutions, potentially relegating carriers to a role as mere bandwidth providers. Carriers will need to offer cross-network interoperability and open up their networks, says Bonte, in order to address this threat. [ABI Research]

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