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Global Location-Based Mobile Service Market

The worldwide market for Location-Based Services (LBS) is expected to reach nearly $1.5 billion in 2007 as an ever increasing number of cellular and other wireless carriers provide customized mobile services based upon a location-awareness of their subscribers.

According to a new market research study from The Insight Research Corporation, location-based telecommunication services are most popular in Asia-Pacific countries, where they provide wireless subscribers with tailored information based upon their current physical location.

The Insight Research report entitled "Location Based Services Market 2007-2011," notes that location-based services are part of a worldwide push by mobile phone carriers to create new IP-enabled services for consumers and business users.

The study notes that consumers of mobile telecommunications services in leading markets are adopting location based services along with other IP-enabled services such as video telephony, fixed-mobile convergence, file sharing, multimedia streaming, and presence based services.

"In the early 1990s the use of global positioning systems with wireless telecommunications was restricted to military applications," says Robert Rosenberg, Insight Research. "Now the application is commonplace, with mothers using the technology to keep track of their children, or students using the service to learn the street address of the closest automated teller machine to their current location," Rosenberg concluded.

LBS promises tailor-made services to the individual service subscriber, based upon the actual physical location of the customer. The services include current position, points of interest in a given location, tracking the locations of other people (based on authorization), and other as yet to be defined services.

Wireless operators worldwide have long had built-in capabilities to locate a subscriber based on the cell serving the customer. The real push to LBS has come with the advent of IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS), which separates the services layer from the access technologies.

In fact, IMS opened the door for new players with non-telecom backgrounds to enter the market as application developers of value-added services (VAS). Vendors of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are now developing applications for this emerging LBS market.

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