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Wi-Fi leads location market

Posted: 20 Dec 2010     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Wi-Fi  location technologies  GPS 

ABI Research forecasts that Wi-Fi location will lead all other location technologies including GPS, cellular and MEMs, with shipments reaching more than 100 crore by 2015.

Senior analyst Patrick Connolly comments: "Location-based services, revenues and advertising are the hot topics of 2010 as companies grapple to gain control of this market. The key is accurate, ubiquitous location-finding across a variety of portable devices such as mobile phones, tablets and laptops. ABI Research has forecast that with the proliferation of Wi-Fi and increasingly lower cost or free location engines, it will become the most widely available location technology over the next five years."

The Wi-Fi location market is split between current incumbents such as Skyhook Wireless and Mexens Technologies Inc., the leading GPS companies such as Broadcom and CSR/SiRF, and the new threats from giants such as Google, Microsoft, Apple, Nokia, and even Facebook.

The recent lawsuit involving Skyhook and Google is a clear indicator of how important this space is becoming. Location is key to unlocking the potential of location-based advertising, marketing, and analytics. With Wi-Fi location set to become ubiquitous it is a vital technology to support. This lawsuit also highlights how, despite a plethora of free solutions, there is a huge market for high-quality location technologies.

Other emerging location technologies include MEMs, barcodes, NFC/RFiD, Bluetooth, and TV. It's not a case of either/or, but of, a continually evolving hybrid approach. GPS alone will not be sufficient to support the next generation of services and revenue streams. Services such as local search, location-based advertising, geotagging, social networking and augmented reality are all significantly improved through increased accuracy and indoor/ubiquitous location.

- Julien Happich
EE Times-Europe

For more statistics and forecasts, click here.

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