Global Markets for Mobile Positioning Technology: Commercial, Military, Homeland Defense--Focus on the U.S. and Canada

Jan 2012| SAS016A| BCC Publishing

Report Highlights

  • The global market for mobile location technologies reached $22.5 billion in 2010 and is expected to reach $25.1 billion in 2011. It will further grow to $36.3 billion in 2016 for a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.6% between 2011 and 2016.
  • The combined U.S. and Canadian segment for mobile location technologies was worth $5.3 billion in 2010. This market is expected to grow to $5.6 billion in 2011 and $7.2 billion in 2016, a CAGR of 5.3% between 2011 and 2016.
  • The total U.S. and Canadian segment for motor vehicle navigation devices was worth $2.3 billion in 2010. This market is projected to approach $2.5 billion in 2011 and $3.8 billion in 2016, an 8.7% CAGR between 2011 and 2016.


Beginning with the successful completion of the global positioning system (GPS) in the mid-1990s, other new technologies for determining the geographical coordinates of moving or fixed objects have been deployed or developed.  This report refers to them collectively as mobile location technologies.

Mobile location technologies are able to locate points, objects or persons on or above the earth’s surface by calculating the distances from one or more (usually at least three) reference points.  These can be satellites orbiting in space, ground radio stations, cell phone towers, wireless LAN access points, or RFID receivers.

Each type of technology has its advantages and limitations, depending on the specific application.  While they are, to some extent, competitive with one another, each technology has applications for which it is especially well suited.  Additional mobile location technologies are being developed, many of them involving a combination of two or more existing positioning technologies.


This report is an update of a BCC study published in 2007.  In a market that is evolving almost day-to-day, this report identifies the latest applications and trends in the market for GPS and other mobile location technologies.  It focuses on the impacts these new technologies will have on the global mobile location market.

Another feature of this report worth noting is its expanded coverage of markets outside the traditional markets of North America, Western Europe, and Japan.  Much of the projected growth in the mobile location technologies market over the next 5 years is expected to take place in China, India, and other “nontraditional” markets, making more detailed analysis of these markets imperative.


This report will satisfy the need for an objective, quantitative analysis that addresses existing and emerging mobile location solutions in the context of technological change and an evolving market.  Objectives that are more specific are as follows:

  • Identify the key new mobile location technologies and applications, including those expected to be commercialized in the 2011 to 2016  time frame
  • Identify and evaluate the impact of economic, business, demographic, technological, legal/regulatory and other factors that will drive the future market for each of these new technologies
  • Forecast sales of each technology, (including new products and/or applications) to each major geographical market through 2016
  • Analyze the structure and competitive conditions in the global mobile location technology market.


This report is especially intended for executives, entrepreneurs, investors, venture capitalists and other readers with a need to know where the mobile location market is headed in the next 5 years.  Other readers who should find the report valuable include the military, public safety/homeland security, transportation, and communications agencies whose responsibilities involve mobile location systems.


This report is an analytical business tool whose primary purpose is to describe and analyze the size and dynamics of the global market for mobile location technologies.  It mainly deals with technologies introduced since the commercialization of GPS about 10 years ago.

Older position-finding technologies such as LORAN are not analyzed in detail.  The report focuses on end-user-oriented applications of these new technologies, and does not address the market for basic infrastructure such as space satellites, ground stations, beacons, and cellular towers.

Major sections of the report cover the following:

  • Summary of findings and conclusions
  • Overview of the mobile location industry: systems, technologies and users
  • New and emerging mobile location technologies and solutions
  • Market size and segmentation, 2010
  • Market drivers and constraints
  • Detailed market projections by application segment and major geographical market, 2011 to 2016
  • Industry structure and market shares


This is an update of a report published in 2007.  Both primary and secondary research methodologies were used in preparing this study.  The findings and conclusions of this update and the original report are based on information gathered from industry sources, including mobile location equipment vendors, service providers, and end users.  Interview data were combined with information gathered through an extensive review of secondary sources such as trade publications, trade associations, company literature, and online databases to produce the projections contained in this report.

The base year for analysis and projection is 2010.  With 2010 as a baseline, market projections were developed for 2011 to 2016.  These projections are based on a combination of a consensus among the primary contacts combined with our understanding of the key market drivers and their impact from a historical and analytical perspective.

The methodologies and assumptions used to develop the market projections in this report are discussed at length under the various types of mobile location technology and geographical markets addressed.  The report carefully documents data sources and assumptions.  This way, readers can see how the market estimates were developed and, if they so desire, test the impact on the final numbers of changing assumptions.


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The information developed in this report, is intended to be as reliable as possible at the time of publication and of a professional nature.  This information does not constitute managerial, legal, or accounting advice; nor should it serve as a corporate policy guide, laboratory manual, or an endorsement of any product, as much of the information is of a speculative in nature.  The author assumes no responsibility for any loss or damage that might result from reliance on the reported information or from its use.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Analyst Credentials

Andrew McWilliams spent more than 25 years as a consultant with Ernst & Young, McKinsey & Company and A.T. Kearny focused on manufacturing before segueing into research analysis. He has been covering myriad technology categories for BCC Research for more than 15 years. McWilliams has a BA from Princeton University and an MA from Harvard University. He has worked in more than 40 countries and he resides in the greater Boston area.

Table of Contents

All reports provided in PDF format. For shared licensing options (5+ Users), please call a representative at (+1) 781-489-7301 or contact us at
Title/Chapter NamePagesMember Price
Full Report: Global Markets for Mobile Positioning Technology: Commercial, Military, Homeland Defense--Focus on the U.S. and Canada145Free
Chapter- 1: INTRODUCTION4Free
Chapter- 3: OVERVIEW61Free
Chapter- 6: C. CRAMER & CO. GMBH21Free
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