Thursday, December 23, 2010

LBS-Location Based Services : Is it localized enough?

Location Based Services is good buzz word. But it requires lot of preparations. Good to have kind of services espcially in 3G environment and business case on paper could as strong as creating another mini-Google at least! if not more ;-)  I believe at some time in the past or current all the product manager at telco, IT, VAS providers had been exploring some or other options for LBS. LBS has been making rounds of Buzz across telecom world but no one able to crack it successfully at least in India till the time (May be blind dating could be exception. If one want to bet on it, which can turn real ugly..) I just feel till the time no stronger business case has been built to overcome these challenges.

Let us see what the key challenges to address among others:

  • Mapping of Geo information accurately with BTS
  • Updating hardware/software to support LBS transaction
  • Viable business model- time, efforts and resource requirement
  • No pan India strong player available to support localized enriched information
  • Astronomical cost involved going local
  • Wide base accepted services to create stickiness

Does it mean LBS is failure. Certainly not, in fact it has to be the future of wireless 2G,3G or 4G technology. Challenge is to decode the information enrichment for making LBS success.

What could it be? It may be a strong business partner(s) or service providers syndicates who can enrich local information to support LBS.
Strong business partner can have option to go on his own, invest astronomical amounts and enrich localized information or go on user generated content model and pray for enrichment of content. Or could find right mix where invest into create critical mass of information to make it interesting for the users to use and enhance it further when cost of enrichment will diminish over a period as users starts contributing heavily.

The above decision depends on various factors like 1) Cost of creating information content , 2) Critical mass of information content, 3) Advertising budget, 4) Customers level of desire to grab the info content provided, 5) Suitability of the same for the customer consumption & instant gratification, 6) Level of involvement of the customer and 7) Opportunities for the customer to generate information content.

If you are really interested, there is lot to discuss, drop me e-mail or call me; we can discuss it further.