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LBS: Building on the positioning capabilities of wireless applications and deliver innovative services
Location-based services (LBS) build on the positioning capabilities of wireless applications and deliver innovative services to mobile users. LBS constitute one of the vital and dynamic areas in the technology market and offer a cost-effective engagement of mobile customers. LBS market is expected to generate revenues from the new consumer base in the future. Loopt, the friend tracking software developer helps to reduce the cost of location-based services.
Through the licensing deal with SnapTrack, a wholly owned subsidiary of Qualcomm, cheaper deals were made with wireless operators to offer location services. QPoint, location-based server software for social mapping and other advanced Location-based services were also used. The licensing fee on the GPS location information through the SnapTrack technology was enormous. Under the agreement, Loopt pays a flat fee per month per user with unlimited location queries. Through this technique, LBS are implemented in an affordable manner through targeted advertisement. Loopt also provides plans to other software developers, to develop location-aware applications. For instance, Loopt already offers friend-finding and alerts service to Verizon wireless and Sprint.
LBS market is lowering the costs by streamlining the access to information and reducing the number of customer required agent assistance. It provides a boost to the economy of the nation by enabling the end users to receive relevant offers based on the location. The marketplace is expected to be catapulted with heavy demand of the personalized location-based services. The commercialization of the personalized services such as no handset application download required, provision of automatically identifying locations with no manual support along with instant access to location specific information like nearby restaurants, driving directions and roadside assistance are on the rise. The combination of location-based data and existing personal data creates rich and contextualized user experiences. For example, Foursquare not only provides information about one’s social circle but also about the general public and businesses nearby. Location-based Ads use the user’s present and past locational details along with other contextual information to display the advertisements accordingly. This helps in retargeting of mobile ads based on locational information, geo-fencing alerts in stipulated radius of interest and suggesting new products and services. This is done in accordance to the past visits along with the high local brand awareness and customer intimacy.
There are vendors in the market for personalized locational services. Voxeo is a cloud-based single vendor solution provides location intelligence services. Voxeo’s location-based services increase the experience of the customers through Interactive Voice Response (IVR), SMS, and mobile web applications along with real-time location intelligence. Voveo LBS solutions are being integrated into IVR and multichannel self service applications. The Personalized Location-Based Traveller Recommendation System (PLTRS), a mobile application which gives the user personalized tour information during a trip. This technology has increased satisfaction in the tourism industry. With these affordable technologies being the key driver for most of the innovations taking place in the developing countries, the trends towards economical location-based techniques are on demand.
The evolving business models like mobile ads, global deployments of 3G and 4G wireless services are promising ubiquitous connectivity for LBS. Higher advertising impact and improved customer satisfaction through real-time research are increasing the amount of location tagged information and the ability to dig trends for big data.
The cost benefits by deploying solutions like vehicle tracking and fleet management are also adding new business dimensions for many industries. Vehicle tracking systems use Global Positioning System (GPS) to keep track of the multiple fleets of vehicles in real-time. Fleet management solutions integrate data logging, satellite positioning, and data communication for managing transportation. It enables services such as vehicle finance, vehicle maintenance, vehicle telematics (tracking and diagnosis), and fuel management. The leading solution providers by deployments are Masternaut (Europe), XATA and People Net ( North America), Tom Tom business solutions ( Europe), Digicore and Trimble ( Europe), Qualcomm Enterprise Services ( North America), and Transis ( Europe).
Location-based intelligence and business intelligence result in spatial business analytics and intelligence systems. It integrates office tasks, filed operations, supply chain management, and customer relationship management. SAP has partnered with Google to integrate Google Maps, Earth and Street view visualization for business intelligence. ESRI offers web-based business analytics tool using Geographic Information System (GIS) technology for on-demand analysis and visualization of demographics and spending power of the customers.
Data privacy is the major barrier for location-based market. Unstructured planning with little coordination among various business administration agencies is one of the major cause of GIS data uncertainties and fundamental issues of data security. The expectation setting and principle-based legislation along with “privacy by design” are the best privacy norms to be followed in case of LBS. These privacy guidelines can vary from carrier to carrier, device to device and platform to platform.
There is a lack of standardization in different technologies in global LBS market, due to a few governing standard bodies. The need for governing standards is increasing in order to enhance the device compatibility and interoperatibility with other related products. The installation of LBS requires changes in the infrastructure such as additional placement of servers and other devices IN SMEs, due to budget constraints, the installation of this technology may not be possible resulting in lack of standardization.
However, the cost of installation and maintenance are unclear at the initial stages and the customer has to pay special attention towards the aspects of LBS. Hence, the uncertainty in the process and lack of adequate knowledge are the hindering factors in overall growth of LBS.
Mobile operators consider LBS as an additional stream of revenue, generated from the investments made in the fixed infrastructure developments. It is expected that these services will be useful in the improvement of user experience and delivery of quality service options to the end users. The technologies such as Geographic Positioning System (GPS), mobile cell phone identification techniques and network up-gradation allows businesses to zoom into the activities of the customer in a narrowly defined interface and hence, helps in conceptualizing the accessible and accurate real-time data. A key driver of LBS is the degree of flexibility between the system’s technical feasibility and the overall marketing strategy.
Mobile commerce is expected to make a qualitative leap. Several technologies such as PDAs and mobile phones need to be integrated with the wireless network infrastructure. LBS need to focus on software, hardware, and wireless network blending into a plan for designing cost-effective, reliable and high quality systems. This area will accelerate the networking effects and lead to cost reduction and increment in customer base. Mobile network platforms are available with the strategic considerations such as range of coverage and scalability of applications, and the degree of service quality at a reasonable cost. The evolution of broadband wireless infrastructure, through third generation wireless connectivity (3G), and wireless LANs (Wi-Fi) has expanded the wings of mobile services. For instance, NTT DoCoMo’s popular iMode service provides always-on internet connectivity through proprietary GPRS network. With the growth in multimedia mobile connectivity, operators are operating LBS as a marketing strategy contributing to the bottom line. The idea of using customer location for delivering focused services is appealing and creating customer value proposition. There should be balanced privacy concerns with the overall cost of implementing LBS.
RTLS solution in the manufacturing sector is expected to rise at a tremendous rate in the coming future due to the need for efficient manufacturing environment with optimum operational efficiency. RTLS helps the manufacturing companies in tracking the Work In Progress (WIP) carriers, raw material and equipment in order to increase the productivity and labour efficiency. The companies such as Aeroscout (U.S.) have been providing RTLS solution for the glass manufacturing, tire manufacturing and heavy equipment for real-time asset and personnel tracking.
The developing economies such as APAC and ROW have a tremendous growth potential with regards to RTLS market because of the huge market in the industrial manufacturing and logistics sector. Various companies use RTLS solution in its operations for automotive, and aerospace such as Aston Martin (Germany), Caterpillar (U.S.), BMW (Germany), and Airbus (France).
Location Based Services (LBS) Market (Mapping, Discovery and Infotainment, Location Analytics, Leisure and Social Networking, Location Based Advertising, Augmented Reality and Gaming, Tracking) - Worldwide Forecasts and Analysis (2014 - 2019)
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