So far, AT&T Wireless is the only one to introduce a so-called location-based service--called Find Friends--to its subscribers. But most carriers are expected to follow with their own versions in the coming months. AT&T Wireless' Find Friends feature can pinpoint another cell phone's location down to an intersection in a city, or within miles in a rural area, according to spokesman Jeremy Pemble. It is offered in about two dozen areas where AT&T Wireless has a cellular telephone network using GPRS (general packet radio service) and is part of the company's mMode plan, which costs $2.99 or more a month.
Find Friends can also locate nearby businesses, or find a restaurant midway between the caller and buddy and send the buddy an invitation to meet, complete with directions, The feature is called "RSVP.", AT&T says the new service is more of a measuring stick; if it becomes popular, the company plans to add more location-based offerings, Pemble said, Other plans in the works Most major carriers say they are anatomy of a guinea pig iphone case investigating location-based services, Verizon Wireless, the nation's largest wireless carrier, is working with Microsoft, according to spokesman Jeff Nelson, In late May, the two companies announced a multimillion-dollar deal to provide a new service called "VZW with MSN," which allows Verizon Wireless customers access to MSN Messenger and other Microsoft services..
"We are looking at a host of location-based services," Nelson said. Sprint PCS is looking to create new businesses, but is sensitive to the cost of building the infrastructure needed just to be able to beam a Pizza Hut discount coupon to a cell phone as it passes the eatery. "It's not this year, maybe not next," said spokesman Dan Wilinsky. "It's much farther out.". Cingular Wireless is taking a different tact, focusing efforts on business customers, especially those considering location-based services as a way to track inventory or personnel, said Steven D. Jaeger, regional vice president for global markets. Cingular Wireless already hosts some services for FedEx, but is also looking at developing games that can take advantage of location-based services.
VoiceStream Wireless wouldn't comment on what commercial applications, if any, the company has planned, Not just a phone thing Several companies are looking into services for the road warrior--or would-be warriors who want to use their anatomy of a guinea pig iphone case phones to play games, Kivera, the company that has partnered with AT&T Wireless on the Find Friends service, plans to unveil a new concept called "real-time rerouting" for avoiding traffic jams while on the road, Acting as a super traffic information line, the service would cross-check standard driving directions against constantly updated traffic information databases, figuring out the fastest routes based on traffic or road hazards, said Clay Collier, Kivera's chief executive..
"It's coming soon," Collier said. European carriers have come up with games that incorporate cell phones, said Joel Gruen, business development manager at TeleCommunication Systems, which is working with nearly all U.S. carriers to deploy location-based services. Current offerings are similar to the popular game laser tag, except the combat takes place over the phone using characters such as magicians or wizards. For example, a city is divided into 25 different zones. Players entering one zone can search for other combatants nearby, then engage them in battle.