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Location Based Services Gaining Momentum
Posted: 06-Jun-2002 [Source: IDC press release]

[New survey report from IDC shows high consumer interest in location-based services if carriers can make them self-initiating and ensure privacy.]

Framingham, MA -- IDC's annual survey of 700 U.S. households with mobile phones showed major shifts in mobile phone usage. For the first time, the three usages that topped the importance list were all location-based services: emergency assistance, navigation services (e.g., driving directions), and concierge services (e.g., finding the nearest gas station). These mobile phone applications were deemed far more important than applications such as sending/receiving email, getting stock quotes, or playing interactive games by both male and female mobile phone users.

"Mobile phone users are very interested in location-based services, as long as it is self-initiated and privacy issues are proactively addressed," said Scott Ellison, Program Director of IDC's Wireless and Mobile Communications research. "The key to consumer understanding and adoption is linking location-based services to existing consumer behavior, such as calling an information line to find the nearest theater playing a particular movie, or getting driving directions from On-Star."

IDC finds that the key to success for location-based services is that consumers want to self-initiate the service, and also want wireless carriers to ensure privacy/security. Other findings in the study show that mobile phone usage is an integral part of overall lifestyle changes among Americans. As a result, the majority of mobile phone calls are made outside of the car, and long-distance calls account for one-third of calls. Additionally, results from this survey reveal wireless displacement of secondary wireline access continues to be a steady issue.

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