At the business track at Comsnets 2009 in Bangalore, Marc Naddell, VP Partner & Developer Programs at NAVTEQ gave some inputs on trends around location based services, both in terms of applications and what consumers are willing to pay for. 

navteq emerging ecosystem

On the handset, the earlier applications were from people trying to replicate routing. This was followed by a growth in enterprise applications – fleet tracking, CRM and ERP activities. Then LBS based games, with proximity based games were launched, followed by an increase in the social networking applications. Other solutions in high demand are – locating yourself and your buddies on a map, updating your status with a geo reference, posting comments, metadata tags, sharing files that are geotagged, uploading pictures on a website, recommending things that are profile and location specific. We (NAVTEQ) feel that advertising supported will be come the dominant business model in the future. 

NAVTEQ Consumer Research

A wide variety of location based applications are being worked on:

— Enterprise: Resource Tracking, fleet management, navigation, customer profiles
— Entertainment: Friend Finder, LBS Gaming, Social Networking, Niche Services
— Personal: Movement Tracker, Family Locator, Emergency Assist, LBS Commerce
— Information Services: Traffic and transit, Weather, Place of Interest (PoI) Look-Up

Monetization: the willingness to pay is highest for logistics and tracking, followed by consumer tracking, location based games, and finally navigation, while it is expected that search and location based social networking will be free. 

navteq consumer willingness to pay

What consumers want: “Consumers expect accuracy, and expect the application to know what’s around them. Companies approach us to get the data inputted into their database. They want availability of Rich Pedestrian and Public Transit data. They want information to be ubiquitious, and rich – even internal inputs of inside event venues and stadiums – in case they want to locate the refreshment counter in a large stadium. We get requests from stadium owners for getting their stadium mapped, and and it’s an opportunity for on-site advertising for the shop.” 

During the Q&A, Naddell mentioned that the amount of user data that NAVTEQ has access to varies from country to country, because of a differentiation is access to the tower database.  In terms of privacy issues, Europe has evolved privacy laws, it’s up to the government.