Where Are the Customers?

The answer is on the way via wireless.
Magazine Contributor
1 min read

This story appears in the July 2002 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

E911 emergency services are finally beginning to dribble out as carriers nationwide make it possible for emergency personnel to pinpoint your location via chips that communicate with satellites and/or through triangulation. This is a necessary first step before location-based services and take off.

Right now, 's location-enabled handsets are offered by and for about $150, with service in pockets of the country. Nextel will launch a similar handset this October, and AT&T and Cingular will have handsets ready to coincide with their GSM network launches this fall. The had mandated nationwide e911 service long ago, but carriers stalled and deftly shifted costs to consumers. So far, their sales pitches focus on the safety benefits.

But telecom analyst Ovum predicts you'll see location-related m-commerce and advertising later this year. Revenues from location-related commerce could hit $8 million in the United States by 2005. In Europe, 36 percent of direct marketers have tried advertising on , and location services now serve ads, locate co-workers and even play tag. If predictions pan out, be ready to reach customers at the and place.

San Francisco-based Erik P. Nelson is a frequent contributor to Entrepreneur.


More from Entrepreneur

We created the SYOB course to help you get started on your entrepreneurial journey. You can now sign up for just $99, plus receive a 7-day free trial. Just use promo code SYOB99 to claim your offer.
Jumpstart Your Business. Entrepreneur Insider is your all-access pass to the skills, experts, and network you need to get your business off the ground—or take it to the next level.
From business to marketing, sales, design, finance, and technology, we have the top 3 percent of Experts ready to work for you. Join the future of work and learn more about our Expert solutions!

Latest on Entrepreneur