Get Exact Location based on Cell Tower ID using Loc8 [LBS Platform for Mobile App Developers] – 50 Invites

In Indian Startups by Ashish Sinha66 Comments

One of the most significant challenge in implementing LBS (location based service) in India is the lack of cell-id information and the closed walled garden approach of operators towards the same.loc8 logo

Loc8.in, a Bangalore based startup is taking a radically different approach for LBS and enables developers to build location based apps using its API.

The startup boasts of significantly large collection of location data (for urban as well as rural areas) and provides following services:

  • Exact location based on cell-tower ID
  • POI from location found using cell-tower ID or GPS

At the face of it, this looks very interesting – an API like this can give birth to a lot of LBS ideas (Foursquare anyone?). Having said that, Google too has opened up the Cell-id information for almost 150,000 towers (data almost a year back) that was obtained using Google maps application.

how loc8 works

The bigger question for Loc8 is whether they are in content business or platform business? I asked the team and as per them, it is content through platform.

The team has been building the content and platform for almost a year and will make both available for free. Business model revolves around premium sponsorship [think of this as adsense for LBS] and hence, the platform will grow owing to the marketplace creation status it will enjoy.

At this stage, I am not so sure about the monetization piece – advertising doesn’t pay as much as what the content can. But it’s still early days for LBS in India and expect interesting apps/services in the coming days.

The API is currently in closed beta, but the team has shared 50 free invites for developers who want to try out loc8 [use the invite code ‘PLUGGDIN’].

What’s your take on Loc8?

Comments

  1. Prashant

    interesting concept. i would like to give it a shot and given LBS will be big, it can work in their favor. I was working with another bangalore based startup and was really a pain to get started. So if these guys can keep it open, i see huge potential. But i m not sure how they will make money?

  2. Srinivas

    wow, glad to see that they are covering all of India.
    nice tagline too ;-) chappa chappa loc8 chale :)

    Congrats loc8 team for a rocking launch.

  3. Raj

    @Ashish, thanks for the coverage.

    @Ashish, @Prashant, Regarding the monetization, let me give you some background and analogy.

    Mobile devices are increasingly becoming an important part of our everyday life. They have evolved from a basic communication device to a comprehensive device which can play music, takes notes, track location etc. The usage of mobile devices in India is rapidly growing and with it, the innovative ways of utilizing them in rural and urban scenarios of India.

    But we believe that the location aspect of a device hasn’t been tapped really and one of the reason is location data has been behind walled gardens with access only granted to a select few – those who could afford it! For small developers or startups, this is probably the biggest barrier to entry. Some of these big players who expose the location information charge on a per location-search basis. This is ridiculously outrageous – would you pay google for every search? It doesn’t really make sense. Instead, wouldn’t it make a compelling business sense to charge for premier placement around POIs instead, similar to what Google does with Ads and open the platform to developers for FREE?

    That’s exactly what we do at loc8.in. The business model sustains itself due to the competition in the marketplace thereby benefiting the developers to write even compelling location-aware applications without burning their pocket. Infact, this business model was liked by the investors we spoke to as well compared to the traditional model of selling LBS data to developers.

    Let me continue my analogy to Google. They are able to sell ads only because they have built a platform to serve the beautiful (search) content. So, in this case, the ads (premium placement in our case) doesn’t fall into content or platform, but it wouldn’t exist without either of them.

    To give you some more information, we are working in stealth mode for more than an year now, we have built the platform and content and are constantly adding to it. The platform provides the access for the content and they complement each other beautifully. We are now able to make both (platform and content) available for free and let the (premium) sponsors ride on it (with balance and checks in place). So the advantage of it is that the burden of LBS data is now effectively spread across sponsors instead of developers or startups. We think this will catalyze the developer innovation process due to availability of LBS data in open market.

    Do not hesitate to get in touch with me at business at loc8.in if you have any further questions.

    @Prashant Singh – Let me know your email address and we will send you an invite.

    Regards,
    Raj

    1. Vishnu

      Hey Raj

      This is awfully interesting concept.. I been thinking to crack this for ages. Thanks for sharing this in open market.

      I see quite a lot of values adding towards to various businesses through this data available.

      Rock on!!

    2. Pankaj

      Hi Raj,
      I’ve been working on an innovative mobile marketing idea. I am still in the feasibility state, where I am looking for market potential.

      I jumped from the chair when I saw this article in Pluggd.in. You are right, the platform will surely be a boon for small scale developers and startups.

      I think I can demonstrate a basic demo of my idea by using your work. Please send me an invite if possible.

      Many Thanks and Good luck for your venture.
      Pankajbhatia@gmail.com

    3. Mitul Bid

      Awesome idea. I have no doubt that this will work. I have had an LBS idea but the cost of getting the location was hindering me. This makes my idea feasible and viable. The pluggdin invites are exhausted. Can you please send me one invite to mitul.bid [[[ at ]]] gmail . Thanks a lot.

    4. Darkness

      Hi Raj,

      Am working on j2me application. This API will be very useful for everyone. Please send me an invite to access the API.

      Thanks

  4. Arvind

    Kewl stuff…I had been waiting to check-in somewhere already :-)

    Arvind

  5. Phani Kumar

    HI, I would like to try out the API.
    Will please send me an invite

  6. Anil

    Can you please send me an invite? I want to try out your API.

  7. Laxmi

    Just brilliant, this is going to be the startup to watch for in thus year if they play their cards right. Good luck loc8

  8. Dinesh

    Interesting..I too want to try the API. Can you please send me invite?

  9. satish

    Amazing stuff. I have been looking for something like this for quite some time now..

    Please send me an invite too (Lskumar@gmail.com). Thanks.

  10. Raj

    Thanks everyone for the awesome response and comments. We are amazed to see the market-opportunity and within just a day of our launch, companies for fleet-management, vehicle-tracking etc. have shown interest in using our platform.

    If there are any mobile developers here who would like to build applications and want us to showcase them on our website & to our customers, let us know. I think it is big opportunity here.

    Do not hesitate to get in touch with me at business at loc8.in if you have any further questions.

    Raj

  11. Rahul

    Well we worked on a reminder system based on location for our final semester project in college but one of the biggest problems we faced was lack of support for an API call to get the CellID,LAC etc in a lot of devices we tested.I am not sure what the situation is now,is this targeted at the Android,Windows Mobile Crowd?

  12. Vivek

    @Raj Thanks for the invite. I’d surely work on something using the API. The idea to provide it free is awesome and will open new for developers like us to work on something innovative.

  13. shitij

    this was needed for long…..i hope you have ur business side covered….would hate to see this go down due to lack of revenues/flawed biz model.

    congrats

  14. Sameer

    Correct me if I am wrong, isn’t companies like Imere.com leading in this space since some time. We’re using their SDK for mobile, besides they provide street level location for desktop users as well… which I guess no one provides for India.

    You cannot get “Exact location based on cell-tower ID”. For that you need hybrid technologies like Skyhook provides in the west and Imere provides here.

    Again, I may be wrong.

  15. Ashwani

    Hi Raj,

    I’ve been working on an innovative mobile solutions. We are looking into various problem and possible solutions for individual as well as enterprise.

    For last few days I was trying to add location aware service but was limited by number of GPS enabled phones in India. Further GPS signal depends upon various factors – weather, indoor/outdoor.

    I was really thrilled to see this article. You are right, the platform will surely be a boon for small scale developers and startups.

    I think I can demonstrate a basic demo of my idea by using your work. Please send me an invite if possible.

    Many Thanks and Good luck for your venture.

    Anyway we can partner?
    ashwani.verma@gmail.com

    Ashwani

  16. Nilesh

    I think… Imere.com is doing this already and leading as Sameer said. What is new for Lo8?

  17. Aviral

    Please send me an invite..My mail id is aviral dot pandey at yahoo dot com

    Idea has immense potential from utility point of view. Not sure about the business model though

  18. Darkness

    Am working on j2me application. The application is about to retrieve the user location using Cell_Id, MNC, MCC & LAC.

    First of all, how do I get the token to access the url “http://loc8.in/api.php?token=&req=loc&mcc=&mnc=&lac=&cellid=” to post all the details of what I got[Cell_Id, MNC, MCC & LAC]

  19. Vivek Patel

    Hi Raj,

    We are working on developing an innovative concept on Mobile Digital Data Platform. We had planned to create a database that you have started doing. I would like to utilize your platform and reduce my go to market time.

    Would like to get an invite to develop upon your platform. Can also help you to test out your service in field.

    My email Id vivek.patel@gmail.com

  20. Shaheer Ahmed

    We are a mobile LBS applications developer. What you have is great stuff. We would love to have access to the APIs and see if we can work together.

    Please send an invite to the API.

    Regards,
    Shaheer

  21. VENKATPRASAD

    Hi
    Its very interesting. I am also working on similar type of application. can you please share your API if possible.

  22. Gaurav

    This is awesome….I Need an invite for the application as am working on my college project and think this can help me…

  23. Gaurav

    Not really…the same app but for a institution having 3-4 branches at distant places…want to show ur application as an existing system…and dat this thing is possible…
    it will b cool if u can mail me an invite : nag420@gmail.com

  24. Jakati Vikram

    Great work loc8. I urgently need an invite to explore the API. Can anyone please invite.

  25. mahesh

    hi sir i want an invite code so that i can develop could you please mail me to the mail address thanking you sir

  26. Anonymous

    does anybody know the address of this company in bangalore….

  27. Kunal Oswal

    Hello sir this is kunal oswal wants to use this API to develop a project for final year with an application to mobile to connect this API and find the mobile….please can u help me with some detils or atleast an invite code?

  28. Anonymous

    hello bro please sent the invitation code to my mail id (vaibhav.mishra29@yahoo.in) .

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