LOC-AID Technologies says it is well on its way to making location-based services (LBS) available across carriers. The location aggregator is now working with Sprint Nextel in the United States, as well as Telcel in Latin America.
Other major U.S. carriers are not currently part of the mix due to technical issues and the need for upgrading some network components. Those issues are expected to get addressed this year.
While some LBS applications require the end-user to download an application to their phone, LOC-AID partners with carriers for LBS services. Every location query is network based and doesn’t depend on an application download or the phone having GPS, says Isaias Sudit, CEO of LOC-AID. “For us, every phone, regardless, will produce location,” he says. LOC-AID also applies a privacy framework to go with its services.
According to Sudit, the real “arrival” of LBS will come when applications can be used across carriers, so that big advertisers, for example, will get the greatest reach. Sudit expects LOC-AID to double its subscriber reach in the next 90 to 100 days, going from a base of 120 million to 300 million.
In total, LOC-AID now has six carrier deals, including Bell and Telus in Canada and two Telefonica Group properties.
LOC-AID doesn’t develop the applications that use location, but its system makes it easier on developers working with LBS, Sudit says. Some of its relationships are with companies such as Sense Networks, Finsphere and Crisp Wireless. LOC-AID is working with a host of mobile marketers and other companies to incorporate LBS into financial services, alerts, search, messaging and other areas.
Right now, he says funding is not an issue for the company, which is pushing for profitability in the 2010 timeframe.