According to a new research report by market watcher Berg Insight, mobile location-based service (LBS) revenues in Europe are predicted to grow from €325 million (US $434.5 million) in 2012 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 20.5 percent to €825 million (US $1.1 billion) in 2017.
Findings indicate that the North American LBS market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 9.2 percent from $835 million in 2012 to reach $1.295 billion in 2017. The Berg Insight study also estimates that about 40 percent of all mobile subscribers in Europe use some kind of location-enhanced application on a regular basis. In North America, the report suggests that larger installed base of GPS-enabled handsets and smartphones has enabled the higher uptake of LBS.
Further, about 50 percent of all mobile subscribers in the region now access LBS at least monthly. Local search, social networking and navigation services are the top application categories in terms of number of active users. Similarly, mobile workforce management services aiming to improve operational efficiency for businesses are also gaining traction, says the Berg report.
In a statement, André Malm, senior analyst at Berg Insight said, “Smartphones are the most important enabler for LBS adoption in general. The installed base of smartphones in Europe has now reached 45 percent of total handsets and already surpassed 55 percent in North America.” He added, “Mobile operators still play a more central role in North America than in Europe, marketing branded services to both consumer and enterprise customers.”
In addition, the operators’ central role in the LBS ecosystem is now being challenged by the smartphone ecosystems that bundle key LBS and give developers access to location data and distribution channels in the form of on-device app stores. Consequently, mobile operators are taking more interest in offering network-based bulk location data for advertising and analytics, along with new security and fraud management services.
Edited by Jamie Epstein