The return of LBS and m-commerce

Both location-based services (LBS) and mobile commerce (m-commerce) have found their way back onto the wireless industry's radar screen this year. Neither made a big splash, but they are certainly positioned to do so as 3G takes off. LBS has proven popular outside the U.S. with dating services that alert users to other members' proximity. As we predicted, child monitoring LBS features are starting to gain some traction abroad. Despite Nextel's early push into LBS, the technology hasn't really hit home with U.S. consumers yet. Sprint has begun to port a lot of the successful Nextel LBS applications over to CDMA.

Financial services firms and credit card companies are once again looking at m-commerce. New contactless payment systems and improved wireless networks have enabled carriers and the financial services crowd to bring more m-commerce to the market. As expected, the technology wasn't 2005's ringtone, but I do think it will make headway in the coming year.