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Analytics is the New Mobile Business?

Fees from checked baggage and reservation changes made up four percent of airline operating revenue, but 62 percent of operating profit in the second quarter this year, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. Airline operating profitThat’s an instructive number for wireless service providers as well.

“At the end of the day, we’re getting to a situation where customers are the products that these wireless companies are selling,” said Nasir Memon, a professor of computer science at New York University’s Polytechnic Institute. “They’re creating a playground to attract people and sell them to advertisers. People are their new business.”

A BIA/Kelsey study in 2010 predicted that U.S. local online ad revenues will reach $42.5 billion annually in 2015.

With location data becoming more important, wireless service providers are in position to package such data in ways that are very valuable to local advertisers. Location-based ad forecast

Nexage, the leading provider of market liquidity in mobile advertising, says the value of its location-based inventory is 3.8 times standard inventory. Demand for location-enabled impressions also grew rapidly, showing a 170 percent per month growth in that same time period. Value of location-based ads

That is one reason Google has been interested in mapping Wi-Fi locations and signals from Android devices. Getting a GPS fix on locations can take minutes, and may be impossible when indoors or in a big cities.

By comparing nearby Wi-Fi networks to a database of networks with known positions, however, a phone can calculate location to within 100 feet.

That’s important to firms such as Google, whose business is built on advertising, and which considers location-based advertising the next big frontier. Value of location data for Google

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