Location Based Services (LBS) encompass all services where information about the location of the consumer is needed. The integration of communications with LBS promises to open the door to many interesting applications. A classical example is someone asking the way to the nearest hospital. The service provider compares the user’s location with the location of the hospitals stored in his database. Then he indicates to the user the nearest hospital and the fastest route. Service providers could also point customers to restaurants, movie theatres or parking lots. Taxis can be directed to customers who just press a button. In the business area, companies will rely on LBS to monitor and dispatch external staff.
LBS will increase communication traffic significantly and generate important revenue to telecommunication operators and service providers.
The LBS market is currently segmented into four categories:
- Information and navigation services, which provide data directly to end-users, in particular destination location and criteria for journey optimisation.
- Emergency assistance, which provide the location of mobile users in case of distress and need for assistance.
- Tracking services, which provide location data.
- Network related services, where knowledge of user position improves communication services.