Location Based Services: You Know The Way!

VoicenData Bureau
New Update

Location based services (LBS) technology combines mobile technology with

spatial database and Geo Information System (GIS) technologies to provide

relevant information on time. They deliver geographic information between

stationary and mobile users using Internet or wireless network.


LBS is most commonly used for dating or sales campaigns, travel aids,

emergency services, location based gaming and entertainment in the B2C space.

These are also used in vehicle tracking services, workforce management etc in

the B2B space. Presence detection is another application, which is gaining

popularity, owing to fast paced life of ours and especially tracking of



  • Destination guides

    with maps, directions

  • Location-based

    traffic and weather alerts

  • Wireless

    advertising and electronic coupons

  • Movie theatre,

    restaurant ,booking and store locating applications

  • Vehicle tracking


  • Personal messaging

    (live chat with friends)

  • Mobile yellow pages

  • Information

    services (news, stocks, sports)

The Edge

LBS is being touted as the killer application of the future. It

benefits both, the service provider as well as the user. The user will

get information easily and operator will generate additional revenue on its

existing network. According to Allied Business Intelligence, the LBS industry

will account for more than $40 bn in revenue by 2006.


World over, service providers are gearing up to tap the immense potential,

these services hold for them. Many innovative services are being launched to

provide subscribers a convenient and personalized experience.

In June 2006, Disney launched its services with family finder capacity and

Verizon wireless also launched a service called “Chaperone” which uses

Global Positioning System (GPS) data to let parents track their children.

Recently, Sprint and InfoSpace launched LBS search engine, “InfoSpace

FindIt”. It enables the subscriber to find local businesses and services, and

click to call them without dialing the number.


Vehicle Tracking

Vehicle tracking solution enables a company to monitor the location of its

stock in transit. Each vehicle is mounted with an Airtel mobile phone or a GPS

box and a vehicle tracking enabled SIM card. The SIM card sends periodic updates

of the location of vehicles to the Bharti application server, as per the

frequency defined. The progress of the vehicle is displayed on a map of the

tracking website. The application allows tracking of multiple vehicles

simultaneously. In India, Tata Teleservices introduced LBS for enterprises. This

includes vehicle-tracking system, which was launched earlier this year for

commercial vehicles. Owing to its popularity, it was recently extended to school

vehicles as well.

The technology is also emerging as a potential marketing tool. Content

providers such as Mobile2win are in talks with service providers to introduce

such location-based services which will enable marketers to reach out to the

customers when they are in the vicinity of the outlet, by offering them schemes

and incentives. Airtel is introducing this type of service in India. The mobile

marketing revenue is expected to reach $3 bn globally and this has made Indian

service providers start tapping into this goldmine.

The Challenges

There are a number of companies trying to make their mark in the LBS

industry, but they have to overcome some challenges. The major blocks in mass

deployment of this technology are, the cost consideration and accuracy, because

LBS are most useful only when the location technology is accurate.

Other challenges such as, uncertainty of positioning and connectivity,

interoperability between diverse set of technologies that are involved, privacy

concerns also need to be addressed before LBS technology is fully deployed.

Sonia Sharma