Verizon Opens Up Location APIs

For the past decade, it's been the year of LBS.  I'm happy to say that 2010, at long last, really IS the year of LBS. Why 2010?  Because the largest carriers in the United States have made it so.

Today, Verizon Wireless announced that, in partnership with LOC-AID Technologies, it is making available location of Verizon Wireless mobile devices for approved enterprise applications.  Approved mobile applications have to pass through the LOC-AID onboarding approval process and meet strict privacy guidelines of course.  Only LOC-AID has been enabled on the Verizon network to allow this.  But once approved by LOC-AID and Verizon, an enterprise can locate every one of Verizon's 93 million subscribers via network-based location.  No app to download, no user action required.

This is a game changer for LBS.  Maybe all you Chief Location Officer (CLO) men and women out there will at last get the keys to the executive washrooms alongside the CEO, COO, CFO, CMO and CSO.  Location is, at last, prime time.

Excerpt below, full release here.

VERIZON WIRELESS CONTINUES TO OPEN ITS NETWORK TO DEVELOPERS WITH LAUNCH OF LOCATION, MESSAGING AND NETWORK APIs

BASKING RIDGE, N.J., and LAS VEGAS, Sept. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Verizon Wireless said today it is continuing to open its network by making available 20 different location-, messaging- and network-based application programming interfaces (APIs) to developers.  The announcement came at the Verizon Developer Community (VDC) Conference, taking place this week in Las Vegas.

Verizon Wireless' network APIs will foster development of new, innovative applications by giving third-party developers access to the Verizon Wireless network.  Messaging APIs will allow developers to create applications and services that send, receive and request receipt of text and multimedia messages for Verizon Wireless customers.  Messaging APIs will allow developers to offer features such as "link-to-buy" a product or to allow users to get discounts or more information about a product or service.

Location APIs will allow developers to request and incorporate location information in applications and services on most Verizon Wireless smartphones, providing customers with specific offers or improved targeting of offers, leading to more valuable and useful applications.  There are two versions of location APIs: coarse location, which has an average range of one to two miles and works with all Verizon Wireless phones; and refined, which offers more granular location information and works on a select number of Verizon Wireless phones.  Verizon Wireless requires the user to opt-in and consent to provide location information to the requestor per industry best practices and Mobile Marketing Association guidelines.

Verizon Wireless will begin distributing these APIs to members of the VDC this week but some entities have been integrating and testing the APIs already for months.

"LOC-AID is delighted to be selected to be one of the first 'Location-as-a-Service' network enablers for Verizon Wireless," said Rip Gerber, president and chief executive officer of LOC-AID Technologies, Inc.  "We've been working with the talented network and product teams at Verizon Wireless for more than a year to make our award-winning location-based services (LBS) APIs 'Verizon-ready' for any application, consumer or business.  Now thousands of developers can incorporate the power of location into their mobile applications, customer engagements and business processes, all through one simple API from LOC-AID and Verizon Wireless.  This new capability will usher in a new era of location-based services – from location-based authentication to fraud management apps and mobile marketing."

Third-party network API applications can be brought to market in as few as 14 days.  Information on how to register for the Verizon Developer Community for access to these APIs is available at http://developer.verizon.com.

About Verizon Wireless

Verizon Wireless operates the nation's most reliable and largest wireless voice and 3G data network, serving more than 92 million customers. Headquartered in Basking Ridge, N.J., with  79,000 employees nationwide, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE, NASDAQ: VZ) and Vodafone (LSE, NASDAQ: VOD).  For more information, visitwww.verizonwireless.com.  To preview and request broadcast-quality video footage and high-resolution stills of Verizon Wireless operations, log on to the Verizon Wireless Multimedia Library at www.verizonwireless.com/multimedia.

SOURCE Verizon Wireless