LONDON, June 17 /PRNewswire/ --
- 85% of Consumers Aware of LBS Would Either be Prepared to Pay More for an LBS-equipped Handset (34%) or Would Choose an LBS-enabled Handset Over One Without (50%) - Top Three Location Based Services Consumers Would Adopt are Locating Nearest Services (56%), Alerting the Emergency Services to Their Location (45%) and Finding Their Friends (17%) - 68% of LBS Users Perceive Current Performance in Terms of Accuracy, Speed and Urban Effectiveness to be Average at Best
Sarantel (LSE: SLG), manufacturer of filtering antennas for mobile and wireless devices, today announces the results of a global survey that polled consumers on their views, usage and future expectations in relation to location based services on mobile handsets. Independent marketing agency Ice Blue Sky (http://www.icebluesky.com) carried out the survey in April and analysed the results on behalf of Sarantel. To view or download the full complimentary report, please visit http://sarantel.client-service.net/sarantel/download_form.php.
The findings reveal that major commercial opportunities exist for both handset manufacturers and service providers. An overwhelming majority (85%) of consumers who are aware of LBS would either be prepared to pay more for an LBS-equipped handset (34%) or would choose an LBS-enabled handset over one without (50%). However, manufacturers and service providers need to genuinely deliver services that consumers want and resolve concerns relating to GPS performance, usability and pricing.
Market education emerged as a fundamental issue that the manufacturers and service providers need to address. According to the survey, consumers were unfamiliar with the terms LBS and location based services (36%), but most could name individual services. The survey indicated that today LBS is nearly synonymous with navigation, a well-promoted service that is readily available and easily understood.
Beyond navigation, consumers have identified a wish list of additional services that they would consider adopting: locating nearest services, such as cash points (56%), alerting the emergency services to their location (45%), finding their friends (17%) and being notified of events in their area (15%). Service providers and retailers should note that the least popular choice was receiving promotional information (10%).
Another crucial finding is that overall handset performance is average to poor according to 68% of the respondents who had experience with it. On a scale of 1-5, where 1 is poor and 5 is high, 56% rated 'speed (time to first fix)' at 1 or 2. Urban effectiveness fared marginally better with 51% receiving 1 or 2 ratings.
According to Sarantel's CEO David Wither, Network operators and handset manufacturers need to seriously consider the implications of marginal performance and the negative impact this can have on consumer uptake. Average 'at best' is not good enough performance to enable a broad range of LBS services which require, robust, reliable and near-perfect positional accuracy to flourish commercially. Consumers have high expectations for performance. If their expectations are met, the sky's the limit.
Sarantel LBS Pro antenna - enabling the next wave of location based services
The Sarantel LBS Pro antenna delivers positional accuracy and performance suitable for hands-free pedestrian navigation, which consumers expect. This accuracy is also fundamental to location based services that will drive mobile operator revenues. The antenna is based on Sarantel's PowerHelix filtering technology and significantly outperforms traditional antenna technologies in the following ways:
- Better performance in urban environments with tall buildings, which typically impede satellite reception. Realistically, most mobile GPS consumers will be using their handsets in these environments. - Does not lose energy and de-tune when held close to the body. This means that mobile consumers can leave their phone in their pocket while listening to turn-by-turn instructions through their headsets, resulting in a more natural and safe 'hands free' user experience. - Requires a minimum of 10 per cent less GPS battery power so that consumers can practically use their phone for pedestrian navigation.
Essential for Mobile Network Operators
Solving positional accuracy is pre-requisite to revenue-generating LBS services that map to consumers' interests like social networking and non- invasive, targeted mobile advertising.
Sarantel is a leader in the design of high-performance miniature antennas for portable wireless applications including hand-held navigation, satellite radio and laptop computers. Sarantel's revolutionary ceramic filtering antennas offer dramatically improved performance over existing antenna designs, resulting in a clearer signal, better range and a 90 per cent reduction in the amount of signal radiation absorbed by the body. Because of their smaller size and higher capabilities, Sarantel's antennas enable manufacturers to create innovative high-volume consumer products incorporating technologies such as GPS, Wi-Fi, WiMax, 3G, GPRS, Satellite Radio and Bluetooth. http://www.sarantel.com
For further information:
 More than 300 international patents have been filed to protect Sarantel's PowerHelix filtering technology
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