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The Development of Location Based Services in Mobile Commerce



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The Development of Location Based Services in Mobile Commerce1 Charles Steinfield Department of Telecommunication Michigan State University Abstract With the more than one billion cellular phones in the world in 2002 joined by other wireless handheld computing devices like personal digital assistants PDAs and pocket PCs there are significant opportunities for mobile commerce growth Although mobile commerce enables access to goods and service regardless of the location of either buyer or seller in many situations the specific location of the buyer and seller is critical to the transaction A host of new location aware applications and services are emerging with significant implications for the future of e commerce Much like the experience with the dot com era however the development of location based services has fallen somewhat short of expectations In this chapter we attempt to provide a realistic assessment of the potential for locationbased services examining the market opportunity technological origins likely services emerging policy issues and potential future directions Introduction Since the dawn of the Web online shoppers have mainly experienced electronic commerce through personal computers connected to the Internet via some form of fixed line In the near future this may change as many e commerce transactions are expected to occur via a wide assortment of wireless and handheld devices Economist Intelligence Unit October 15 2001 Wireless e commerce is more commonly known as mobile or m commerce and as noted in other chapters in this volume is expected to develop into a significant market opportunity in the coming years throughout the world Mobile operators in particular view m commerce as a critical means of increasing average revenue per user ARPU since increasing competition has driven down prices for voice services at the same time that costs related to the transition to the next generation digital wireless infrastructure have risen D Roza and Bilchev 2003



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