A Year Ago: WAP phone services put user on map

First published Mon, 24 Apr 2000 07:08:59 GMT

Dynamic location monitoring maps your Wap

From this summer, UK mobile phone users will be offered services that can identify where users are located and point to relevant services that are near to them.

MapInfo, one of the largest developers of mapping software, is setting up deals with telecoms firms and content providers that should lead to cellular carriers being able to sell premium 'near-me' information services from phones that use the WAP protocol in the next two months. Services are already on tap in Finland through an agreement with Telia.

"It's about taking the Net and putting it into the hands of the masses," explained David Flower, European chief executive at MapInfo. "Dynamic location monitoring is critical to whatever services others want to deliver. There are other services that let you locate the phone, but without the mapping and content, that's useless."

The service could have multiple uses in business-to-business and business-to-consumer applications.

"If you're a field engineer you're going to want to know where your next job is and how to get there," said Flower. "Or, if you go out shopping at the weekend and have decided to make an impulse purchase, you could use your phone to tell you where to go locally to buy the product cheapest."

Other potential services could locate and recommend the nearest hotels and restaurants. Carriers could benefit by achieving better customer retention and longer airtime.

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