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Mobile Monday Silicon Valley on "What Developers Need to Know About Launching Location-Based Services"
What Developers Need to Know About
Launching Location-Based Services
July 2, 2007
About Partenza Consulting
• Founded in August 2006 to focus on providing clients Location-Based
Services (LBS) product strategy and business development expertise.
• Eight total years of experience in product strategy, management,
marketing for software and content products.
• Four years experience in LBS working with:
– Application Developers
– Middleware Providers
– Content providers
– Device Makers
– Wireless Carriers
– Local Search Portals
Unique value proposition: LBS experience cutting across all
LBS channels, geographies and value chain positions
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Questions for Discussion Today
• What is LBS?
• What makes LBS different for developers?
• Why should I consider developing an LBS app?
• What’s the LBS market look like?
• How do I get started developing my own LBS app?
• What are some of the challenges in LBS?
• What about Europe?
Most importantly ask questions!
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What is Mobile LBS?
• Mobile Location-based services
(LBS) allow end-users to answer
questions such as:
– Where am I?
– What’s near me?
– Where is ______?
– How do I get there? 3
– When did Bobby leave school?
• This is accomplished through the 2
combination of some or all of the
– GeoSpatial software
– Spatial databases
– (Assisted) GPS
– Wireless data networks
– Mobile applications
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Why LBS? Consumers Want It
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Why LBS? Largest Revenue Generator in Downloadable App Category
Application Category Share of Downloadable Revenue
10% All National Carriers, US
Location Based Services
9% Source: Telephia Mobile Applications Report Q1 2007
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Why LBS? Significant Price Premium in the Downloadable Apps Space
All National Carriers
Share of Downloads $8
Avg Price Paid
*Total revenue received in Q107, covering downloads and subscription fees Source: Telephia Mobile Applications Report Q1 2007
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What’s Next? Location is Moving from a Vertical Stand-
alone Application to a Horizontal Supporting Multiple Apps
Turn-by-turn Navigation Service
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As a Result, There are Now Many Different Types of LBS Apps
Social Networking –Construction
Mobile Local Search Workforce management
Real Estate Search Fleet dispatch & tracking
Imaging Stolen vehicle tracking
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Enterprise Has Very Different Functional Requirements than Consumer
Mobile asset and people tracking
Route optimization and generation
Workflow management (paperless order processing)
Integration with back-office ERP/inventory systems
Business models also differ greatly. Enterprise requires
direct sales force and large marketing budget.
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What Makes LBS Different? Assisted-GPS.
Time To First Fix
- Outdoor 45 - 120sec.
- Indoor N/A
-- Outdoor 1 -- 5 s.
Outdoor 1 5 s.
-- Indoor 10 -- 30 s.
Reference Indoor 10 30 s.
-Ephemeris data (position)
A-GPS Makes LBS a True Client-Server Network Service
Source: BlueSky Positioning
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What’s the NA LBS Market Look Like?
GPS Chipsets Handset OS/
Branded Carriers Customers
Internet Brands Location Server
Windows GeoSpatial Platform
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What Does the LBS Platform Do?
• Provides the database management technology for location based services:
– Map Rendering
– Navigation/Route Calculation
• Communicates with the Carrier’s internal systems and manages those functions not related to the core
– Location determination interfaces
– Authentication and Privacy
– Hooks into carrier billing systems
– Messaging interfaces (SMS, MMS)
– Content management
• Provides all the necessary Map and POI data for a location-based service
– Verizon mandates NAVTEQ
– Sprint allows developer to choose between TA and NT
• Provides API to access the subscriber’s A-GPS Lat/Long
• Defined by carrier
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Developer Programs Essential to Shortening
Time to Market and Assisting in Marketing
Several players have developer programs with LBS support:
• Geospatial Platforms
– Autodesk: http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/index?siteID=123112&id=7764394
– deCarta: http://www.decarta.com/products/dz/index.html
– ESRI: http://www.esri.com/industries/locationservices/business/enterprise.html
– Sprint: https://developer.sprint.com/site/global/develop/technologies/location_based_serv/p_lbs.jsp
– Verizon/US Cellular (BREW): http://brew.qualcomm.com
– Alltel: http://developer.alltel.com
• Handset Makers
– Motorola: http://developer.motorola.com
– Samsung: http://developer.samsungmobile.com
– Nokia/S60: http://www.forum.nokia.com
• Map Providers
– NAVTEQ: http://developer.navteq.com/site/global/home/p_home.jsp
– TeleAtlas: https://developerlink.teleatlas.com/index.cfm?ses=1
• OS/Dev Environments
– BREW: http://brew.qualcomm.com/brew/en/developer/resources/dev_resources.html
– Microsoft: http://msdn.microsoft.com/mobility/default.aspx
– Symbian: http://developer.symbian.com
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To Be Successful, You Must Build Your Business Case
• Is there a large defined market opportunity?
• Who are you targeting to buy the service?
• Is your solution unique and differentiated vis-à-vis the competition?
• How will you market and sell the application?
• What pain point are you solving?
• Will it meet the privacy requirements from the carriers?
• Could your grandmother use it?
• Are you a mass market or a niche application?
• Consider your scope carefully and be specific about what you do that is better.
Launching with Carriers1
• Align sufficient financial backing to support the service once it’s launched.
• Don’t oversell what you have to carriers.
• Admit what you’ve accomplished versus trying to sell what is really a work in progress.
• Align yourself with good partners to introduce you to carriers.
1. Paul Reddick, “10 Tips for Startups Who Want to Work With Sprint”
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A Quick Word About Europe
EU expected to be second largest LBS market after US, but is at earliest stages
• Virtually no A-GPS infrastructure
• Very few GPS handsets
Navigation, Local Search and Enterprise expected to be largest app opportunities
Handset makers will likely dominate
• Swappable SIM cards
• ~50% pre-paid data and voice
• High cross-country data roaming charges means ‘on-board’ more attractive
• Fragmented carrier base
• Consumers used to autonomous GPS and ‘on-board’ distribution
Nokia has early lead
• Purchased Gate5 navigation software vendor
• Adding GPS to entire N-Series within 1 – 2 years
• Nokia’s Series 60 client UI contains all the handset interfaces for A-GPS and LBS
EU LBS market could now ramp up quickly
• Europe poised to adopt E-112 regulation which will mandate positioning a la E-911 within 18 months
• New technologies such as SIM A-GPS and software-only GPS mean vastly improved economics for
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Challenges in Getting to Market
Expect to test, test, and test some more1
• Handset differences
• Infrastructure differences for location data
• Spatial data issues
• Different players own and operate different components
Limited distribution options
• Verizon pursuing carrier-branded strategy, and have filled much of their current LBS
• Sprint more open with open ecosystem approach
• Tier 2 BREW carriers such as US Cellular and Alltel can be a good place to start
Cost per device goes up as you add location
• Porting becoming a larger issue as more handsets support GPS
• Certification covers signal strength, power, compliance for privacy standards, etc.
• It’s very difficult to track down all of the issues you run into, and it ultimately falls on
It’s a long process. Be prepared and be persistent!
1. Kevin Tsurutome, TCS, BREW Conference 2007
2. Barry Ross, Verizon, BREW Conference 2007
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Presentation will be made available at http://www.partenzaconsulting.com.
Thanks and good luck!
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