Sprint PCS launches LBS Services

For those of you with a CDMA phone, you may have been disappointed to read about your phones built-in GPS in the owner’s manual, seen the GPS menus in the phone UI, yet wondered why you could not actually use any practical Location-based Service (LBS) or GPS-like functions. Yet, actually, one important invisible service has been available for a while (depending on your region, and your phone) and that is enhanced 911 calling. Lately, Sprint also has existing LBS services for business customers, but Sprint is finally launching LBS for the consumer market. Unfortunately, the LBS services they are launching are somewhat lackluster, and are part of other pricey fee-bases services: a $4/month Roadside assistance program will allow tow trucks to get your exact location if your car breaks down; while another app allows you to get turn-by-turn directions to a location after paying for a $1.25 directory call. While I find these apps pedestrian, they do portend one of the more important aspects of LBS: LBS won’t just be about standalone location apps, it will be very much about enhancing existing applications.

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