According to a new research report by Berg Insight, mobile location-based service (LBS) revenues in Europe are forecast to grow from €325 million in 2012 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 20.5% to reach €825 million in 2017.
The North American LBS market is forecasted to grow at a CAGR of 9.2% from US$835 million in 2012 to reach US$1,295 million in 2017. Berg Insight estimates that 40% of all mobile subscribers in Europe use some kind of location-enhanced application on a regular basis.
In North America, the larger installed base of GPS-enabled handsets and smartphones has enabled higher uptake of LBS.
Berg Insight estimates that 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.
Mobile workforce management services that aim to improve operational efficiency for businesses are also gaining traction in new industry segments.
“Smartphones is the most important enabler for LBS adoption in general. The installed base of smartphones in Europe has now reached 45% of total handsets and already surpassed 55% in North America,” said André Malm, senior analyst, Berg Insight.
However, 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.
Mobile operators are therefore showing renewed interest in offering network-based bulk location data for advertising and analytics, as well as new services such as secure authentication and fraud management.