By Mario Proietti
New technology and wireless carrier openness now make real-time access to telephone location information available to the enterprise with no application required on the mobile device.
Yes, that’s right: no application required! Cloud-based location, offered via direct connections to wireless operators, changes the playing field for enterprises to introduce instant operational efficiencies. Marrying location insight, privacy controls, and multi-modal communications through network application programming interfaces (APIs) provides enterprises with flexibility, cost savings, and time-to-market advantages. Whether delivering geo-targeted promotions, dispatching services, verifying worker activities, or performing other location-relevant actions, businesses now have cross-carrier access to location information for more than 85 percent of U.S. wireless subscribers — instantly!
This enables businesses to go app-less with no costly, time-consuming deployment and maintenance of handset applications. Additionally, no specialized hardware is required. Location through carrier networks also assures secure and tamper-proof delivery of the location information since no potentially hackable client software is involved in the generation or delivery of that information. It comes straight from the carrier network over secure connections.
Cloud-based deployment, such as that available through TechnoCom’s Location Platform, opens up location intelligence to all device types, including both smartphones and feature phones. This removes a huge barrier that exists with the existing smartphone-only applications and enables businesses to immediately tailor their workflows and business processes to utilize the knowledge of real-time location from a secure and dependable source. Development cycles and costs are a fraction of those required for smartphone applications, such as Droid or iPhone apps, and the adoption hurdle of user download initiation is eliminated.
Simplification of access and deployment paves the way for adoption and finally opens the floodgate for location-based services to be implemented on a large scale across all wireless networks. This is analogous to the inflection point that cross-carrier text messaging access and interoperability had on cellular text messaging adoption rates in the ’90s.
By leveraging technology similar to that in the carrier networks and proven for use in 911 emergencies, businesses instantaneously benefit when new data is exposed by wireless operators, such as device capabilities, presence, rate plan status, roaming status, and so on. Enterprises may immediately harness this insight with upgrades to their server applications and no new technology deployments required in the field. That offers businesses a huge return on investment as they integrate once and consume enhancements dynamically. Location from the cloud opens up a new, instant intelligence frontier that was not possible for businesses to leverage just last year.
This unprecedented access to location information comes with a responsibility to comply with industry-accepted privacy controls. To make this easy on enterprises that are not expert in such policies, TechnoCom Location Platform provides carrier-approved privacy management functionality, and we work hand-in-hand with our customers to ensure their implementations are in line with best practices established by CTIA.
Tapping into location from other mediums such as VoIP, Wi-Max, NFC, Wi-Fi will increase the ubiquity of cloud-based location access even further. As devices get smarter and more powerful, better communications, device intelligence, and positional awareness will catapult businesses to yet another level of efficiencies in interacting with their mobile users, workers, and assets.
Mario Proietti is co-founder and chief executive officer of TechnoCom Corporation, and a member of the Editorial Advisory Board of GPS World magazine. He has a master’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Southern California. TechnoCom delivers cross-carrier location services to enterprises through its location platform’s web services APIs. The company also integrates location technologies into wireless networks, products, and software, and works with wireless carriers to enable E911 and location-based services.