Sometimes you just have to wonder what goes through the minds of execs at mobile operators. While they focus on things like video calls and home theater systems for mobile phones (things that don't appear to have much demand or... honestly, reasons for use), they're already throwing in the towel on location based services, with some saying that "there are no compelling applications for consumers." Perhaps that's because they're coming up with lame location based offerings like "find a friend." Location-based technology is just reaching the stage where it's really viable, and it's one of the features that really takes advantage of the fact that the mobile phone user is mobile. All these other things the operators are working on just try to take an idea from somewhere else and put it on a mobile phone. Location-based services, however, open up possibilities of doing things that simply couldn't be done before -- and that's where the opportunities in technology almost always lie. Of course, at the same time, a bunch of mobile operators are freaking out about Google, worrying that people are just going to go to Google to find their mobile content, thereby bypassing the operators' walled gardens and (most importantly) tollbooths. This isn't true for all operators, obviously, but then you hear someone from a mobile carrier actually say: "Carriers hate accurate search. Then you just end up at the content." It makes you realize just how far out of touch some of these operators really are. Meanwhile, of course, one of the things that users are likely to look to Google for is more useful, timely and accurate local information. So, these operators are giving up on one service that's a real differentiator and then trying to break or block another service that would actually be useful to subscribers... and they wonder why people don't care about data on their phones.
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