“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