TruePosition, the provider of wireless location technologies and solutions and a subsidiary of Liberty Media Corporation, has announced the findings of a significant research study undertaken with IDC. One key outcome revealed that, on average, 70% of consumers are receptive to advertisement-sponsored local search services, which could prove to be a significant new source of revenue for mobile operators.
"Location based services have been met with extreme cynicism in Europe over the last few years. They have promised much and delivered little. But these research findings clearly demonstrate that we are now experiencing something of an LBS renaissance," said Robert Morrison, Senior Vice President of Market and Business Development. "The technology, handsets and high bandwidth networks now exist to deliver the accuracy to ensure the best possible user experience. This will pave the way for LBS to deliver the revenues they have always promised and drive demand for the innovative services highlighted in our study."
Some of the highlights include:
Mobile Local Search
Mobile local search looks set to be the LBS low hanging fruit for the mobile operator community, but only if they can agree a free advertising based business model. 80% of Spanish, 60% of UK and 70% of US respondents would be likely to consider subscribing to mobile local search services, but only if they are free. Only 40% Spanish, 25% UK and 25% US would consider paying for them.
Security looks to be a key factor in determining whether location-enabled mobile social networking will take off. Consumers are unlikely to subscribe to these types of services unless service accessibility can be limited to authorized users and a process is in place to keep out strangers.
Anxious parents seeking peace of mind look to be an important market for LBS as 45% of respondents admitted to being likely to subscribe to child locator services in the next 12 months.
Overall, consumers revealed that they were extremely receptive to location based services, providing they perform at the optimum levels - essentially working wherever and whenever their mobile phone worked. The majority of the respondents wanted the services to work in several different types of environments (outdoors, indoors and in vehicles), desired sub-50 meter accuracy, and required a sub-15 second response time.
From an enterprise perspective, LBS user preferences between the three geographies were remarkably similar. Workforce management and fleet tracking services were highlighted as the most prevalent uses of LBS by businesses. Respondents to the survey viewed productivity improvements (74%) and cost savings (68%) as the key benefits. Also, businesses ranked the safety and security of its workers as the most important feature, with ease of implementation coming in at a close second.
Overall, the performance levels for enterprise services echoed the consumer findings with end-users consistently requesting premium performance in terms of accuracy, reliability and response times.
"The data TruePosition and IDC uncovered together is truly compelling," stated Scott Ellison, Vice President of Wireless and Mobile Communications at IDC. "As location based services continue to gain momentum, service providers will need to better understand their customers' requirements for these services. This research study certainly is at the forefront of that effort."
"New regulatory pressure and increasing subscriber demand will continue to lay down the accuracy gauntlet for LBS. This study clearly indicates that our potential consumer and business customers will accept nothing short of a perfectly performing, accurate service," added Morrison. "This is a positive time to move forward with location services and ensure that hybrid location technology is deployed to guarantee the best possible results."
The study asked consumers and enterprises in the United Kingdom, Spain and the United States exactly what they want and expect from the following location based services: Child Monitoring, Medical and Senior Citizen Monitoring, Pet Tracking, Navigation, Traffic, Stolen Vehicle Recovery, Social Networking, Local Search, Fleet Tracking, and Workforce Management.