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10/16/2007
03:27 PM
Eric Ogren
Eric Ogren
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Wireless Operators Raking In Your Cash With LBS Apps

Location-based services accounted for 51 percent of wireless operator mobile content revenue for the second quarter of 2007. Seems GPS-enabled handsets paired with navigation and other services are catching on.

Location-based services accounted for 51 percent of wireless operator mobile content revenue for the second quarter of 2007. Seems GPS-enabled handsets paired with navigation and other services are catching on.The stats (from Telephia) are slightly misleading, but impressive all the same. About 13 million people downloaded a mobile application on their phone in the US in the second quarter. While the LBS apps represented 51 percent of revenue, they were not 51 percent of the number of downloads. LBS apps are pricer than most other apps, averaging a hefty $9.23 per download, versus $3.82-$5.41 for weather applications, sports, wallpapers, and pictures.

That so many people are willing to pay nearly $10 for a get-me-from-here-to-there type application is telling. "With consumer awareness increasing, there is enormous potential for even greater LBS growth, especially since Telephia research indicates that there are approximately 130 million GPS-capable handsets in the US alone, and growing," said Doug Antone, president and CEO of Networks In Motion.

Some other interesting data came from the research. About 7 to 13 percent of mobile users download content such as games, wallpapers and ringtones. Only 5 percent, though, have downloaded an application such as an LBS-based navigation service.

As popular as LBS services are, based on those numbers it looks like the wireless operators need to convince more people to download and use mobile content.

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