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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Sprint Leads Telecom into the Age of Location-based Services

Sprint inks a number of partner agreements that will leverage the quantity and quality of location-based services that customers will be able to use in future.

Recognizing that a large portion of customers future use of broadband services in its Xohm broadband wireless division will come from the need to search for services locally, Sprint has aggressively expanded its ecosystem agreements with numerous third party partners.

The vision for the future of location-based search includes numerous devices such as laptops, mobile handheld devices, cameras, car navigation systems and much more. The notion of being able to perform quick searches and have software prioritize results based on where you are physically located is a powerful concept.

Searching for movie tickets would, for example, bring up results for the closest theatres---as would finding a gas station or a list of restaurants. And all of these results could include mapping, driving directions and even video showing the actual route.

Sprint's new partners, which one presumes will also carryover to the new Clearwire when that deal is concluded include Yelp, Inc., a site featuring reviews of businesses including restaurants.

Another partner uLocate Communications, Inc. is building the underlying primary platform for much of this partnering. And its platform will facilitate connections to business, places and favorite people.

Eventful Inc. ties events to local mapping to help people find things to do---whereas Topix LLC parses summaries of local news. And Navteq provides traffic and commuter updates.

Other partners such as Autodesk Inc., Openwave Systems, Inc. AccuWeather and even Google all offer numerous useful and potentially very lucrative capabilities to the next generation of mobile broadband.

I don't know about you, but I think this will be a very interesting time.