1 Department of Informatics and Mathematical Modeling, Technical University of Denmark2 CICT, Department of Informatics and Mathematical Modeling, Technical University of Denmark3 Risø National Laboratory for Sustainable Energy, Technical University of Denmark
Mobile location services exploit mobile location technologies for determining where a mobile user is geographically located. This information can then be used for providing location-specific content to the mobile user. The mobile location services can be used, for example, for finding points of interest, getting weather information, and tracking the whereabouts of a child. Mobile location services gained a great deal of interest in 2000, and they were envisioned by the business players in the mobile service market as one of the few service categories where the mobile users would be willing to pay for the usage. Since 2000, we have seen countless mobile location services commercially deployed in different parts of the world, and the services have been adopted more enthusiastically by the mobile users in Asia, especially in Japan and South Korea, compared to other parts of the world. However, the overall usage of the mobile location services is still not very high compared to other entertainment and messaging services. The mobile location services are currently not the important part of the mobile data services, and the services have obviously not yet met the hyped expectation of the mass-market adoption that was expressed in 2000. This thesis examines and analyzes the existing mobile location technologies and services to identify the factors that inhibit the take-off of the existing mobile location services. These factors provide indications and ideas of, e.g., what to emphasize, what to avoid, and what to improve when developing a mobile location technology and a mobile location service in the future. Based on the qualitative studies of the existing location methods and services made in this thesis, the lack of location methods that can provide accurate location information in closed environments and dense urban areas and the lack of adaptability and offerings tailored to different users’ requirements in different contexts of use are the main inhibitors to the take-off of the existing mobile location services. Based on these findings, a new conceptual location method has been proposed in this thesis to resolve the lack of indoor location capability, and a conceptual service architecture for adaptive mobile location services has been developed to facilitate the provision of compelling mobile location services for the future network. The developed service architecture allows the mobile location service to be adapted to best fit with the user requirements/preferences in the current contexts of use, which is one of the missing parts that limit the adoption of the mobile location services available today.