Location based services (LBS) which accounts for as much as half a billion valuation today, can become $2-5 billion sector in next 2 to 3 year reports COAI.
“As of today location-based services (LBS) is less than half a billion industry but it has potential to grow anywhere between USD 2 to 5 billion in the next 2 to 3 years can add a good 10 to 20 percent of revenue to telecom industry over the period,” COAI Director General Rajan S Mathews said on sidelines of a FICCI event as reported by another publication. He however, also added that in order to attain that growth rate issues related to application, devices, IP rights and privacy need to be addressed on time. Mobile operators right now are not structured to sell these location based services as there is shortage of specialised people who know logistics which is hindering the growth of services.
Location based services studies the location of a mobile device with other information to provide added value to a user. It deploys a point to point navigation to locate the geographical location of a specific address and delivers information such as route navigations, weather forecasts, location of hospitals, restaurants, police stations, ATMs etc. as per user’s requirements.
Recently the industry has seen a number of new players entering the scene due to the promising nature of this industry e.g, GeoSpice, Mojostreet, and several other startups providing real time location services. Other international players also looking forward to invest in Indian market including popular Dutch manufacturer of automotive navigation systems TomTom, which has recently extended its coverage in more than 7,200 cities through its recent update.
Besides all these private services, Indian government is also investing in Navigation systems. In November2012, The Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution, announced that they are soon installing a global positioning system (GPS) device in vehicles transporting public distribution system commodities to prevent smuggling of food grains. Other initiative include last year’s Delhi High Court’s order to compulsorily install GPS and printers in auto-rickshaws in the city and launch of Gagan (GPS aided geo augmented navigation) a regional satellite system jointly developed by Airports Authority of India (AAI) and Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
Increase in internet penetration and smartphone market in India are the two major reasons behind this. According to another report, from 2008 to 2012 around 88 million new users have started using internet, reaching to total of 137 Million users throughout the country. Internet penetration is growing at the rate of 26% YoY. Smartphones are on the rise with 67 million smartphone subscribers at the moment, growing at the rate of 52% YOY.
Total number of people who are connected on mobile device are rising very fast, surpassing desktop traffics which, in a way is helping mobile telecom companies and other enterprises providing value added services, to achieve next phase of growth.