Location: Then, Now, and What’s to Come

The mobile world is changing rapidly. The Comscore Mobilens US Smartphone Market Share survey from September 2013 shows that smartphones have over 60 percent mobile market penetration in the U.S.- not bad considering smartphone ownership was less than 17 percent at the end of 2009, according to the same source. These devices are so sophisticated, calling them “phones” hardly does them justice given their broader capabilities.

Origins and evolution of location

When AT&T launched Location Information Services (LIS) in the Fall of 2011 the solution was exclusively a multi-carrier, network-based location. Call routing and roadside assistance providers were among those responsible for the rapid adoption of this technology.

However, over the past two years, location technology has also evolved to include more client-side based capabilities. Client-side location technologies now include cellular GPS, WiFi and sensor-based capabilities, including accelerometer, compass, barometer and gyroscope. New technologies, including those solutions based on Bluetooth low energy, are also gaining traction. All of these location technology developments are aimed at providing brands and consumers better customer experiences through more universal coverage, device battery optimization, and ease of use.

With these added capabilities, consumer adoption of location technology is rapidly evolving. A recent study from the September 2013 Pew Internet and American Life project found that 30 percent of consumers use location within their social media posts, and roughly 75 percent of consumers now look to their smartphones for directions.

AT&T LIS – because one size doesn’t fit all

At AT&T we’ve noticed these trends and as a result recently released an AT&T LIS product enhancement to allow our customers to take advantage of both network and client-based location technology. For example, we recently announced our work with Sabre, a global travel technology company, to jointly explore solutions which could usher in a more personalized, stress-free trip experience for travelers. Imagine how knowing when a traveler who has opted-in to share his location, enters or leaves a pre-defined geo-fence (a virtual perimeter within a geographic area) would allow travel suppliers to provide personalized services and relevant offers based on the traveler’s real-time location.

As location adoption has grown in the marketplace we’ve also seen that one size doesn’t fit all for our customers. Some customers have sophisticated and unique needs with product requirements focusing around flexibility and scalability while others seek a more packaged and constrained approach. As a result AT&T LIS now includes a packaged AT&T LIS Web portal to provide enterprise customers with a pre-configured workforce management application that offers visibility into employee location. Now companies can evaluate and select the right approach for their business needs.

A commitment to location

As we continue our commitment to location, we look forward to leveraging new network and device-based location technologies to support evolving customer requirements. With experts in the location field and a market leading solution to match, AT&T is here to answer questions on what location solutions can offer today and in the future.

Is your business looking to roll out a new revenue service? Or perhaps augment an existing one? Feel free to leave your questions in the comment section and I’ll be happy to answer them.



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