A senior academic has suggested that companies are ignoring the demand for location-based mobile services because of ethical concerns over the technology.
Dr Carsten Sørensen, senior lecturer in information systems at the London School of Economics, explained that this reluctance means that operators are missing a major opportunity, as location-based services will emerge as a key market driver.
"We need to spend much more in looking at location-based services, as this is where the beef is," he said.
"Every time we use technology the new opportunities raise questions. But we have already socially appropriated the phone to be a location-based service. 'I'm on the train' is an obvious example."
Dr Sørensen believes that location-based telephony will be a big hit, provided that there is interoperability between handsets and service providers.
There may be some social problems, just as there are with people not wanting to take video calls today, but they would be minimal, he predicted.
"One of the key reasons for the delay is the ethics of making people's presence available," said Rachel Lashford, a mobile services analyst at Canalys.
"Even instant messaging can be used to check on availability. Location-based services are a significant area for the future, particularly in conjunction with navigation software."
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