More than a decade ago when mobile infrastructure companies, service providers, and device makers started working on Location Based Services (LBS), analysts predicted LBS as "the next big thing” in the mobile services market. Operators had expected to increase their average revenue per user (ARPU) by deploying location services. Network infrastructure vendors made significant investments on increasing the accuracy of a user’s location using various technologies like GPS, AGPS, and cell-IDs. And, application vendors and device makers were pretty excited about the possibilities of LBS. But, "the next big thing” never happened.

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I recently read an excerpt from a Gartner report that the number of technicians with wireless access to a formal packaged field service management (FSM) solution in large enterprises will increase from 25 percent in 2010 to 50 percent by 2012. This got me thinking about workforce management systems in general, and its lower-rung place on the totem pole of telecom spending.

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