Worldwide subscribers to location-based communications services on mobile devices will increase by nearly 168 per cent in 2008 while revenue will grow by 169 per cent, according to Gartner, Inc.
“Location-based service technologies have been around for several years but they have not experienced the rate of success that was anticipated at the beginning,” said Annette Zimmermann, a research analyst at Gartner. However, she said: “The market for location-based services is at a turning point, with indications of mainstream adoption in the next two to five years.”
Gartner said the number of subscribers worldwide will rise from 16 million in 2007 to 43.2 million in 2008 and revenue will rise from $485.1 million in 2007 to $1,307.3 million in 2008. The number of subscribers is expected to reach nearly 300 million in 2011 and revenue is forecast to top $8 billion in 2011.
People are familiar with the small, satellite-based, GPS navigation devices in vehicles. Many want the same or similar services outside their vehicles and on their mobile phones. Increasingly, mobile phones are including GPS capabilities to supplement the less precise location sensing that is an integral function of all cellular systems. As the technology has improved, other services become possible, such as navigation for tourists and pedestrians, child location, find-a-friend and local directories and advertising.
Ms Zimmermann said: “Growth now will be stimulated by the arrival of mobile phones with built-in, precise location sensing and the arrival of new service providers, like Google and Nokia with its service offerings, keen to exploit geographic and positioning technologies.”
Different forces are driving technical developments and patterns of adoption in different regions. In the United States, the government ruled that mobile phones should always be able to call an emergency number – enhanced 911 or E911 – and this has stimulated accurate positioning facilities. In Europe, the drive has come from consumer demand and the efforts of handset manufacturers and service operators. In the Far East, telecommunications carriers stimulated widespread adoption, particularly in South Korea, at the beginning of the decade and they have been broadening the range of services.
“The potential of this market will drive handset vendors, carriers and other service providers to compete with each other and new entrants will appear. Increased competition will reduce subscription prices,” Ms Zimmermann said. “The value chain is complex and fragmented and vendors will need to form alliances.”
Additional information is available in the Gartner report “Location- Based Services Subscriber and Revenue Forecast, 2006-2011.” The report is available on Gartner’s Web site at
Gartner, Inc. (NYSE: IT) is the world's leading information technology research and advisory company. Gartner delivers the technology-related insight necessary for its clients to make the right decisions, every day. From CIOs and senior information technology (IT) leaders in corporations and government agencies, to business leaders in high-tech and telecom enterprises and professional services firms, to supply chain professionals, digital marketing professionals and technology investors, Gartner is the valuable partner to clients in more than 11,000 distinct enterprises. Gartner works with clients to research, analyze and interpret the business of IT within the context of their individual roles. Gartner is headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut, U.S.A., and has almost 9,000 associates, including 1,900 research analysts and consultants, operating in more than 90 countries. For more information, visit www.gartner.com.
Comments or opinions expressed on this blog are those of the individual contributors only, and do not necessarily represent the views of Gartner, Inc. or its management. Readers may copy and redistribute blog postings on other blogs, or otherwise for private, non-commercial or journalistic purposes. This content may not be used for any other purposes in any other formats or media. The content on this blog is provided on an "as-is" basis. Gartner shall not be liable for any damages whatsoever arising out of the content or use of this blog.