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Location based service

A location based service (or LBS) in a cellular telephone network is a service provided to the subscriber based on her current geographic location. This position can be known by user entry or a GPS receiver that she carries with her, but most often the term implies the use of a function built into the cell network that uses the known geographic coordinates of the base stations through which the communication takes place. One implication is that knowledge of the coordinates is owned and controlled by the network operator, and not by the end user herself.

Examples of location based services might include finding the closest Italian restaurant. The ability for the restaurant to send an invitation to bypassers has also been mentioned, even though this might be regarded as unsolicited commercial email or spamming.

Term was launched in the late 1990s and the development in this area seems (still in 2002) to be driven more by technical ability than by user need.