World News: Mobile LBS revenue to reach $13.3bn by 2013

World News:  Mobile LBS revenue to reach $13.3bn by 2013

Mobile location-based services are finally gaining traction among wireless subscribers, with growth driven, on the supply side, by WCDMA and GSM handsets increasingly joining the many CDMA-based devices that incorporate GPS capabilities; and on the demand side, by surging consumer interest in personal navigation functionality.

Personal navigation, although expected to remain the most popular consumer application over the next several years, won't be alone. Friend-finder, local information searches, family tracker applications and enterprise applications (including workforce tracking and fleet management), will all find niches under the LBS umbrella.

Friend-finding is anticipated to be the next service launched for mass consumption.

ABI Research industry analyst Jamie Moss says: "Personal navigation and enterprise services are projected to be the highest revenue-generating services of the five LBS categories profiled, and are forecast to be worth about $4.3 billion and $6.5 billion respectively, per annum, by 2013."

Moss comments that the interesting thing about the LBS content-producing sector is that much of the information is already available. Content providers already have established markets for their map and POI data (automotive and telematics), and LBS is another that could potentially provide them with considerable additional licensing revenue.

However, there are still important service-related developments needed to ensure LBS's future success. The wider availability of all-inclusive data tariffs will spur service usage, which will in turn reduce users' concerns about how much data value-added services like LBS might consume.

Perhaps the most important development will be the cross-network interoperability of services. Once services provided by one carrier are capable of seamlessly incorporating users from other networks, then LBS usage will be driven virally by the desire to respond to and interact with users on other networks.

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