A recent research report by Berg Insight revealed that the global market for LBS platforms will see steady growth in the coming years. According to the report annual revenues for mobile location platforms, including GMLC/SMLC and SUPL A-GPS servers as well as middleware deployed by mobile operators, are projected to grow from about € 200 million in 2012 to € 330 million in 2017.
This demand is primarily driven by emergency call and lawful intercept mandates that require network operators to invest in location platforms enabling location of any handset already in use by subscribers. The report found that commercial location-based services (LBS) are not likely to have a similar impact on the market for mobile operator location platforms. Mainstream commercial LBS primarily rely on alternative location sources including GPS in handsets, Wi-Fi location services and third party Cell-ID databases. Mobile operators are however showing increasing interest in using mass location data for advertising and marketing, as well as new services like analytics.
André Malm, Senior Analyst, Berg Insight said, “Leading location platform and chipset vendors such as Ericsson, TeleCommunication Systems, CSR, Broadcom and Qualcomm are now also escalating their efforts to enable reliable and ubiquitous location indoors. Achieving seamless transition between outdoor and indoor navigation requires handsets with hybrid location technologies.”
Hybrid location technologies fuse signal measurements from multiple global navigation satellite systems (GNSS), cellular and Wi-Fi network signals, together with data from sensors such as accelerometers, gyroscopes, compasses and altimeters.
André Malm added that several other location technology developers are also addressing the fledgling indoor location market. These companies offer various solutions based on wireless infrastructure or software that enable numerous stakeholders including handset vendors, smartphone platform vendors, mobile operators and venue owners to provide services ranging from indoor navigation to marketing and analytics.