Location-Based Services — An Overview of the Standards

Peter M. Adams, G. Wayne B. Ashwell, Richard Baxter

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This paper traces the history of location-based service (LBS) standards that arose from North American requirements in the work on GSM standards in the late 1990s. It also describes how interest in GSM/UMTS outside Europe led to the creation of the Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) for developing UMTS standards (which include standards for the 3G mobile Internet). In addition, the paper covers the role of other standards bodies and interest groups involved in the creation of LBS standards such as the new Open Mobile Alliance. Different location methods for detecting the position of mobiles are described and a summary of the current work in 3GPP on LBS-based services and architecture for UMTS is given. The paper also covers work on wireless access protocols in the old WAP Forum on LBS and also the work of the Location Interoperability Forum (LIF). Finally, the impact of these LBS standards developments on BTexact initiatives, such as project Erica, is summarised. The provision of a rich range of LBS services is considered to be very important for the future success of UMTS.

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