SOFTWARE SOLUTIONS - Location Base Services (LBS)
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LBS determined the location of a user and provide personalised applications and services for consumer profiling purposes. LBS opens a new market for software developers, cellular network operators and service providers to develop and deploy real-time value-added services such as infotainment, m-commerce, personal and mass media, mobile security surveillance, videoconferencing and other applications. Examples of value-added services include fleet management, vehicle tracking, anti-theft, asset tracking and personnel safety.

To determine the location of a user, LBS utilises real-time positioning methods. The accuracy of determining the location of a user depends largely on the method used. The various positioning methods are as follows:-

Positioning methods Description
Cellular phone network

The cell ID in a device can be used to identify the Base Transceiver Station (“BTS”) that device is communicating with and the location of that BTS. Clearly, the accuracy of this method depends on the size of the cell, and can be quite inaccurate.  A GSM cell may be anywhere from 2 to 20 kilometres in radius

Satellites/GPS

The GPS uses a constellation of 24 satellites orbiting the earth. GPS determines device's position by calculating differences in the times signals to reach the receiver from different satellites. GPS signals are encoded, as such the cellular device must be equipped with a GPS receiver. GPS is potentially the most accurate method (between 4 to 40 meters if the GPS receiver has a clear view of the sky), but it has some drawbacks, the extra hardware can be costly, consumes battery while in use and requires some warm-up after a cold start to get an initial fix on visible satellites. It also suffers from “canyon effects” in cities, where satellite visibility is intermittent

Short-range positioning beacons In relatively small areas, such as a single building, a local area network can provide locations along with other services. For example, appropriately equipped devices can use Bluetooth for short-range positioning

Our Group is in the process of developing LBS for the tracking and management of vehicles, assets and individuals. LBS solution will be developed keeping in mind compatibility to 3G, 2G, 2.5G and 2.75G technologies (GSM, GPRS, EDGE).

The software portion of this solution is being developed in-house and includes a management and reporting module that helps superimpose the coordinates of the devices on to a digitised map. It includes escalation procedures for emergency or tracking situations, which can be customised based on specific requirements. It will also include a web and phone based self-tracking feature which allows authorised persons to view the status of the vehicles, assets or personnel.

The hardware components are non-phone devices that can be tagged on a vehicle, individual or asset for tracking purposes. This device can incorporate basic functionality such as “panic button”, logging at gantry point (entrance of schools/offices/depots) and in some cases fixed number calling.  This hardware would be initially sourced externally but in the future could be designed and/or manufactured in-house depending upon its importance to our overall market strategy.
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