According to reports on the Internet, Japanese regulators plan to announce that GPS will be required in all handsets after April 2007. The regulators will also require that the technology be able to locate devices with 15-meter accuracy. Since most of KDDI's handsets already have GPS technology, the announcement should not effect the company; but NTT DoCoMo and Vodafone have very few handset offerings with GPS capabilities. If other reports of DoCoMo's rumored building up of location-based services for its i-mode technology are true, the deadline should only work in DoCoMo's favor as the market will be ripe for such an offering. The US market, however, has yet to pull its act together for GPS deadlines, and the LBS market has remained in its nascent state as a result.
For more on the rumored GPS requirements for Japanese handsets:
- take a look at this blog entry