Location-based services(LBS) are location-aware applications of a mobile communications provider that provide information tailored to the user's location, e.g., about shopping and leisure opportunities, places of interest, regional offers, and public transport, but also for determining the location of children by their parents or emergency calls for people in need of help. Further potential lies in B2B and B2C mobile commerce and is supported by smart mobile devices.
In Germany, all major mobile network providers provide the current position of the mobile subscriber with the call. The position is given by the radio cell in which each mobile subscriber registers. Each radio cell has a unique identification number, which makes it possible to roughly locate the subscriber. This cell-oriented positioning procedure is called Cell-ID or Cell of Origin( COO). The radio cell is determined in a special server, which converts the radio cell ID into geographical coordinates. These coordinates are the prerequisite for the LBS service. The positioning accuracy provided depends on the radio cell size and is about 100 m for GSM in urban areas and about 500 m to 800 m for larger radio cells in rural areas. With GPRS, the accuracy can be further increased when Enhanced Observed Time Difference( E-OTD) is used, to then be around 30 m to 50 m with UMTS.
The technical concept of Location Based Service
The technical concept of LBS is relatively complex and is based on the fact that selective information is provided to the user by means of position-, time- and person-related data. For this purpose, the user's terminal device must be equipped with a position finder. This can be a navigation system. This position finder is supplied with the content provider's offer by a location provider. The entire content, including the location data, is made available to the mobile network operator, which forwards it to the service user.
In Europe and Germany, the use of location-based information is regulated by directives and laws. For example, the European Union has a directive that regulates the handling of personal data in electronic communications. In it, location-based information is mentioned as worthy of protection. In Germany, the situation is more complex, as the boundary from telecommunications service to media service is crossed and the federal and state governments are thus responsible.
The range of LBS services can be used in companies, in the service sector and in private individuals.