By monetizing a range of "Location Insight Services" (LIS) mobile operators could unlock a market opportunity worth $11 billion by 2016, according to research compiled by STL Partners and released by JDSU.
Location Insight Services would leverage aggregated and anonymous "trend" information collected from connected consumers’ mobile location data.
The study draws a distinction between LIS and Location Based Services (LBS) for individual subscribers, a market that is estimated to reach $12.7 billion by 2014, according to Juniper Research. So far, mobile operators have struggled to monetized LBS, as most of the revenues have gone to over-the-top (OTT) content players.
The STL Partners research shows that, by contrast, the Location Insight Services segment offers operators a new opportunity to monetize their location data. Mobile operators have the opportunity to aggregate huge volumes of anonymous location data over time and delivering value either directly to businesses, or via partners such as retail planners and advertising agencies.
The research highlights how organizations in industries such as retail, transport, and advertising could benefit hugely from unique LIS that only mobile operators can provide, once anonymous location data has been collated and analysed. For example, mobile analytics could provide valuable insight on the people passing through a given shopping area over time.
"The findings of this report mark a step change in the perceived value of location data and the way in which operators use it,” said Shirin Dehghan, former Arieso CEO, and now head of the location intelligence business unit since its acquisition by JDSU. “For some time, OTT players have led the way in using real-time location data to provide location-centric services to consumers, such as special offers or vouchers. LIS puts the power back in operators’ hands allowing them to monetize the value of their unique asset, mass location intelligence, creating new revenue streams in times where traditional business models remain under extreme pressure."
Earlier this year, JDSU acquired Arieso, a developer of location-aware software for mobile network operators, for $85 million in cash.
Arieso, which was based in Newbury, United Kingdom, developed a multi-vendor, location-aware network monitoring and optimization solution that delivers intelligence for more effective network performance engineering. It also supplied an automated network planning technology that searches all possible configurations to deliver optimum network designs. Arieso said its proprietary algorithms provide highly rich and targeted data from mobile connection events to give mobile operators visibility into service level activity and usage patterns. Arieso’s bookings for calendar 2012 were approximately $27 million.