Mobile Location Based Services Finally Begin to Deliver - $1bn this Year to $8.5bn by 2010

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Mobile Location Based Services (MLBS) have promised much, but to date delivered little. Now, with many of the elements in place to deliver functionally richer and more attractive services, there are signs that MLBS are about to start delivering some of the promised benefits to both operators and end users.

Mobile Location Based Services (MLBS) have promised much, but to date delivered little. Now, with many of the elements in place to deliver functionally richer and more attractive services, there are signs that MLBS are about to start delivering some of the promised benefits to both operators and end users.

Asia Pacific to Lead the Market

In its new report on MLBS, Juniper Research estimates that the total available market for mobile location based services, will grow from under $1bn at the end of the current year to over $8.5bn by the end of 2010. The largest geographic market will be Asia Pacific, with Europe and North America second and third respectively.

Tracking Applications to Generate the Most Revenue

Juniper Research estimates that tracking applications are currently the applications group generating the most commercial revenue and offering the greatest increase in ARPU for operators and service providers. This is forecast to continue through to 2010. Juniper Research expects that the biggest growth in MLBS, in the short term, will be in corporate applications. This is because there is a clearer business case for corporate applications than for consumer applications and the corporate sector will pay for services that are seen to improve operational efficiency.

“There are still significant challenges for all participants in MLBS, but in the first half of 2005 the future for MLBS is looking much better than it did 12 months ago” says Bruce Gibson, Senior Analyst at Juniper Research. “2.5G and 3G network rollout is gathering pace all over the world, positioning technology is rapidly maturing, business models are evolving and most crucially the user experience of MLBS is improving rapidly. More and more mobile operators are finding that MLBS are a group of services that their customers expect to be available. This will introduce strong competitive pressure for operators to follow suit in markets where MLBS have already been launched.”

Challenges Still Exist

By the end of the current decade Juniper Research believes that MLBS will be well established in all major geographic regions. Location will have become a parameter of subscriber usage, in the same way as availability and presence. However, challenges that still exist for the fledgling industry include:

  • Managing complex delivery chains
  • Strengthening business cases and converting capability into revenue
  • Network interoperability and international roaming
  • Competing technologies

In the research program for its recently published report on MLBS, Juniper Research has interviewed operators from different geographic regions and with different operating environments. Almost without exception they saw MLBS as a means to an end rather than an end in themselves. The ultimate goal being to boost mobile data revenues though the provision of compelling and well differentiated services.

“This new reality should ensure that the market for MLBS shows a steady development path to maturity rather than taking the mobile data market by storm as was being predicted five years ago” Bruce Gibson concludes.

More Information

Free white papers and further details of the new study ‘Mobile Location Based Services: Information Services; Tracking; Navigation; Community & Entertainment’ can be obtained at http://www.juniperresearch.com, or via Michele Ince at micheleince@juniperresearch.com, Telephone +44(0)1256 345612.

Juniper Research provides analytical services to the global hi-tech communications sector, providing analyst reports, consultancy and industry surveys.

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Michele Ince
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