Revenues from mobile location-based services (LBS)…

in the European market will grow by 34% annually to reach e622 million in 2010, according to Berg Insight.
Johan Fagerberg, senior analyst at Berg, said that the market is picking up speed through successful launches of mobile personal navigation services and location based billing plans in several European countries. 
“We expect GPS-enabled handsets with preinstalled navigation software to become available from the leading brands on the European market very soon.”
Berg Insight forecasts that navigation will account for 48% of mobile LBS revenues in 2010.
Fagerberg also notes the popularity of location-based billing plans in Germany. “Over one third of O2’s customers in Germany have opted for the Genion service, which offers a discount tariff at their home location”, he said.
Vodafone and T-Mobile have followed and attracted 1m and 700,000 customers respectively in a short time”. Through location based tariffs the users can receive discounts on both voice calls and mobile broadband data traffic at home and pay regular charges elsewhere.
Berg Insight estimates that 18m mobile users in Europe will subscribe to location-based billing by 2010.
And shipments of satellite-navigation units in Europe have doubled in the last year, says Canalys. It reports that over 2.5m units were sold in Q2 – an increase of 96% year on year.
TomTom remains the top seller with just over 30% of the market. Second place vendor Garmin is a long way behind at 17%; Mio Technology with 10% is third.
While most of the market is made up of the type of ‘transferable’ device typically used by drivers for navigation, Canalys advises that satnav makers should turn their attention towards the potential offered by mobile phones.
Chris Jones, Canalys director and principal analyst, said that satnav on mobiles is a better bet for earning cash than current hype generators like mobile TV. Jones said that operators could not only find themselves making a pretty penny from location-based services but also open up new revenue streams by changing the public’s perception of what a mobile can do.
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