LBS finds its feet


Global revenues for mobile location platforms will grow to Euro 330 million in 2017

The global market for location based service (LBS) platforms will see steady growth in the coming years according to a new report.

Annual revenues for mobile location platforms, including GMLC/SMLC and SUPL A-GPS servers as well as middleware deployed by mobile operators, are projected to grow from about Euro 200 million in 2012 to Euro 330 million in 2017, said analyst firm Berg Insight.

The demand is mainly driven by emergency call and lawful intercept mandates that require network operators to invest in location platforms enabling location of any handset already in use by subscribers, Berg stated.

Commercial location-based services (LBS) are not likely to have a similar impact on the market for mobile operator location platforms. Mainstream commercial LBS primarily rely on alternative location sources including GPS in handsets, Wi-Fi location services and third party Cell-ID databases. Mobile operators are however showing increasing interest in using mass location data for advertising and marketing, as well as new services like analytics, noted Berg. 'Leading location platform and chipset vendors such as Ericsson, TeleCommunication Systems, CSR, Broadcom and Qualcomm are now also escalating their efforts to enable reliable and ubiquitous location indoors', said André Malm, senior analyst, Berg Insight.

'Achieving seamless transition between outdoor and indoor navigation requires handsets with hybrid location technologies,' said Malm, who explained that hybrid location technologies fuse signal measurements from multiple global navigation satellite systems (GNSS), cellular and Wi-Fi network signals, together with data from sensors such as accelerometers, gyroscopes, compasses and altimeters.

He added that several other location technology developers are also addressing the fledgling indoor location market. These companies offer various solutions based on wireless infrastructure or software that enable numerous stakeholders including handset vendors, smartphone platform vendors, mobile operators and venue owners to provide services ranging from indoor navigation to marketing and analytics.


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