21 December 2009, London – Looking to 2010 Telmap, the pioneers in mobile mapping, search and navigation solutions, believe that key developments in the mobile industry will continue to establish an environment for location based services (LBS) to flourish in Europe. Speaking on behalf of Telmap, Motti Kushnir, Telmap’s Chief Marketing Officer, says that the rise in shipments of GPS-enabled handsets and expansion of 3G coverage in Europe provide the key elements to establishing a LBS-rich market.
The top trends in LBS to look out for include:
- In order to support LBS anywhere, anytime, multiple location technologies such as GPS, Wi-Fi, Cell ID, and A-GPS will be used, resulting in location enablement in low-end, non GPS devices.
- Location will start to enrich core services such as SMS and voice, creating a more dynamic and compelling location offering for users. In 2010, we will see this trend penetrating the low-end devices market.
- With the rise in GPS shipments, mobile operators will realize the potential behind expanding their LBS scope to reach the mass market. Operators will need to focus on creating a more advanced mobile location experience for the mass market whilst still investing efforts in rolling out innovative services for the high-end device market.
- The explosion of mobile social networking has marked the advent of applications that integrate location into social communities. This is set to become even more popular as the ability to tag favourite places and share content in a simple and interactive way becomes a reality.
- Location –Based Advertising will come of age as we see more players showcasing location based advertising capabilities as a means to generate complementary revenue streams. The industry will continue the process of defining location dependent ad-based business models that will possess ample opportunity for success.
- The industry has already realised the need to implement location based services that are not intrusive to the end user. 2010 will see a revolution in the way users receive information so that it is targeted and relevant to them and their location but at the same time doesn’t threaten their privacy and safety.
- 2010 will see the tipping point for enterprise LBS. As devices and networks strengthen and mature, the market will come to realise that the industry is now ready to support and benefit from providing location capabilities for enterprise uses.
- Although a number of channels are available to content providers and developers to reach end users (e.g., app. stores), basic economic laws still apply; content providers and developers still need to invest significant resources in building brand and marketing power, which remains a challenge for now. This leaves the operators with the upper hand to win in the LBS marketplace.
- Internet brands and Original Device Manufacturers will continue to rival mobile operators by providing location-aware mobile services to end users. However, operators are better positioned to win the battle when it comes to critical location based services such as navigation, enterprise, people and asset tracking, which require advanced billing and customer care capabilities that only the operator can provide.
2010 has exciting prospects in the LBS space. The LBS battleground is well defined with direct to consumer players such as the original device manufacturers and internet players on one side, and mobile operators on the other side. Some of the key success factors for mobile operators to win the LBS market are: Make location an integral part of the core-services packages, enrich core services such as voice and SMS with location capabilities, open operators’ location infrastructure to 3rd party players, and work together; operators must collaborate to ensure that mass adoption can be achieved for LBS through interoperability and seamless interaction between networks and operators, both on country and global levels, similar to what has been achieved for SMS and MMS.
Telmap believes that operators are in a prime position to enable a rich LBS environment for their subscribers and win in the LBS marketplace. This will require investment of time and resources to deliver location-based services that are innovative, intuitive, valuable and appealing to the mass market, but the results will be the generation of new revenue streams, and increased customer loyalty and brand awareness.