Where's the boss? Location-based services can help

Summary:With Location-Based Services (LBS) you may track the location of a person (or vehicle) who is carrying a mobile phone. Mobile phones constantly connect themselves to the nearest GSM or 3G base station, so it's possible to determine the location of the phone by finding the base station to which the phone is connected.

With Location-Based Services (LBS) you may track the location of a person (or vehicle) who is carrying a mobile phone. Mobile phones constantly connect themselves to the nearest GSM or 3G base station, so it's possible to determine the location of the phone by finding the base station to which the phone is connected. How may you use LBS?

  • Find out where your field staff are located
  • Locate the nearest field staff to handle a problem spot
  • Track the movement of your company vehicles (assuming the drivers carry mobile phones)
  • Alert the entire office when the boss steps into the office building
  • There are 2 approaches for getting LBS information:

    (1) Getting the location from the mobile operator: After you have subscribed to the mobile operator's LBS service, your enterprise application may retrieve the LBS information from the mobile operator through a programming interface. The location of the mobile phone is typically provided as latitude and longitude coordinates.

    %IMAGE=n73.jpg%%IMAGE=m600i.jpg%(2) Getting the location from the phone: For newer mobile phones based on Symbian version 9 like the Nokia N73 or Sony Ericsson M600i (see photos), you may develop a Symbian application to obtain the LBS information by invoking the Symbian application programming interface.

    The information is returned as a Cell ID, which is a unique number that identifies the base station to which the phone is connected. (See the photos for a sample Cell ID.)

    Talk to your favourite systems integrator to discuss how LBS can work for you.

Topics: Mobility

About

Lee Lup Yuen is passionate about mobile phones and PDAs, as he is constantly buying new gadgets and programming them in J2ME, .NET, Symbian and AppForge. He has developed commercial applications with mobile technologies like SMS, MMS, WAP, 3G video streaming and location-based services.

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