Global revenues for mobile location platforms will grow to € 300 million in 2016
A new study from Berg Insight finds emergency call and lawful intercept mandates to be the main drivers for mobile location platform revenues.

According to a new report from the telecom research firm Berg Insight, the global market for location-based services (LBS) platforms and middleware will see steady growth in the coming years, with demand primarily driven by emergency call and lawful intercept mandates. Annual revenues for mobile location platforms, including A-GPS servers and middleware platforms, are projected to grow from about € 150 million in 2010 to € 300 million in 2016. Ericsson remains the leading vendor in terms of number of contracts for location platforms, ahead of Nokia Siemens Networks and TeleCommunication Systems.

Governments and telecom regulators in many parts of the world are introducing stricter emergency call and lawful intercept mandates that require network operators to invest in location platforms. These mandates typically entail accurate location of any handset deployed and therefore require installation of network-based location technologies. Network-based location technologies also have superior indoor coverage and reliability. Hybrid location technologies that combine GPS measurements with network measurements to calculate the location of the handset are necessary to achieve high accuracy in challenging environments such as urban canyons and indoors.

The most strict accuracy requirements for emergency call location are those set by the FCC in the US. For handset-based solutions including A-GPS, the accuracy requirement is 50 meters for 67 percent of all calls and 150 meters for 95 percent of all calls. Operators that choose network-based location solutions must provide location data that is accurate within 300 meters for 95 percent of all calls and within 100 meters for 67 percent of all calls. Initially, these percentages could be calculated based on all calls network-wide, for purposes of measuring location accuracy. However, in September 2010, the FCC adopted benchmarks for wireless carriers to meet these accuracy thresholds at the county- or PSAP-level for increasing percentages of 911 calls over an eight-year period. Moreover, in July 2011, the FCC strengthened the regulations by requiring all wireless carriers to meet the accuracy standards in the handset-based rule after the eight-year period ending in early 2019. For now, the new standards apply to outdoor measurements.

Berg Insight believes that commercial LBS are not likely to have a similar impact on the market for location platforms. Today, consumer LBS can rely on alternative location sources including GPS in the handsets, Wi-Fi location and third party Cell-ID databases. “Location-based services have gained mainstream acceptance, enabled by broader adoption of GPS-enabled smartphones”, said André Malm, Senior Analyst, Berg Insight. “All leading handset vendors provide their own assistance services for GPS handsets to ensure a good user experience in case the operator has not yet deployed A-GPS services.”

Find out more about this study here !

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