'Location and presence will become the foundation of all services'

VoicenData Bureau
New Update

What according to you are the current trends in location

based services market world wide and in India?

Location based service (LBS) can be categorized into three segments,

consumer, enterprise and public safety and services. Juniper research estimated

that in 2005, the location based services market stood at $1.1 bn and is

expected to reach $10.1 bn by 2010. And if you break this market into regions,

APAC stands at number one position. In countries such as the US, these services

have been very successful. American company Nextel, has done a remarkable job in

providing location based services to small and medium enterprises and their

APRUs are very high to the extent of $50.



Providers leverage location for services like dispatch services, fleet

management, tracking. Companies like Vodafone have launched many location based

services through their portal. The operators worldwide are trying to put

location as an integral part of their portal strategy and it has been really

successful. There is a plethora of creative applications; even gaming companies

are going after location based services. We are at the stage where the handsets

are ready, networks are ready and now the operators need to drive these

services. Presently operators are busy in deploying IP networks. IMS etc and

these services are being overlooked, but overall there is a lot of growth in the

LBS market. The Indian market is yet to be explored.

What is the difference between traditional LBS on GPS

and LBS on GSM?

The traditional black box GPS services have a very good business case but

the technology is moving towards mass market and the GPS black box devices are

for niche applications and they are not interactive. The GPS infrastructure is

expensive whereas the GSM based location services can be leveraged on the

existing network thereby providing a cost advantage to the service providers.

With the GSM based technology, personalization of location-based services is

possible and that will drive its growth in the market.

What applications except LBS are popular in the VAS


Other than location based services, messaging is a very popular application.

Unified messaging is the future of these services where you have a single

mailbox to keep all messages be it e-mails, SMS, faxes. Service providers are

looking at cutting costs and increasing their margins, convergence provides them

a viable solution and so unified messaging is all set to take over traditional

messaging services. The second important aspect of messaging is wireless

messaging, instant messaging and push to talk, which will be the next generation

of messaging services. Eventually every application is going to be location



What are the issues and challenges related to the

technology behind these services?

One of the issues with location based services is the maturity of the

technology. Reliability, security of content and quality of service are issues

that have come up, but these are being dealt with as the technology is

developing and becoming more mature. Solutions present today provide

authentication of location, privacy of information, security and subscriber

management of information. They provide end user with a control over the level

of privacy more over for location based services, we have to have user's

consent so privacy and security issues have to be dealt with.

What is the future of location based services? What will

drive their growth in the VAS market?

We see networks divided into four areas; there is voice, data, messaging and

location. Location and presence will become the foundation of all the services.

Services like voice, chat, messaging etc are provided separately but ultimately

everything will be a multimodal service. Value added services are expected to

contribute no less than 20-25% of the carrier's revenue and the average in

APAC is 30% and margins form value added services are much higher. LBS services

create revenue streams for all the players, be it content providers, carriers or

solution providers.

Sonia Sharma