Microsoft and European mobile operators O2 and TeliaSonera announced plans to deliver real-time location services built around Microsoft MapPoint Location Server (MLS). The new services enable developers, independent software vendors (ISVs) and system integrators to create and deploy location-aware business applications for their customers by combining the real-time location data from the O2 and TeliaSonera networks with the rich mapping and location capabilities from the Microsoft MapPoint Web Service.
O2 plans to offer real-time location services for MLS in the United Kingdom by early autumn. "The demand from our business customers for location-based services has increased substantially," said Nigel Dean, head of interactive product sales of O2.
TeliaSonera will have real-time location services available for MLS in Sweden in July 2004. "The availability of MLS is an important event that will enable more TeliaSonera customers to deploy real-time location services to their mobile work force," said Jorgen Jonsson, head of LBS for TeliaSonera. "We think that the greatest demand for these services will come from our small and midmarket business customers that can immediately benefit from real-time location services."
In addition to the support of mobile operators such as O2 and TeliaSonera, location aggregators such as Teydo, based in the Netherlands, play a significant role in the rapid adoption of real-time location services with MLS. "Using the MobiSPOT connector enables any MLS partner or ISV to connect to more than 100 million GSM subscribers," said Jaap Groot, CEO of Teydo.
MobiSPOT connects to most European GSM operator networks such as Vodafone, Orange, O2, T-Mobile, Telenor and E-Plus, and provides aggregated real-time location data to MLS developers, system integrators and independent software vendors.