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Neustar expands into LBS

Thu, 05/10/2012 - 2:18pm
Brad Smith, Wireless Week

Neustar may be best known in the telecommunications industry because it enables the portability of phone numbers. But the company is now using the trust and neutrality it has built up over the years with operators to develop other business uses, among them its UltraViolet cloud computing service for distribution of digital rights-protected movies.

But Neustar, through subsidiaries and acquisitions, has a wider range of IP and Web services and has recently gotten into location-based services using wireless networks, according to Jean Foster, Neustar’s head of carrier services. She demonstrated the services at CTIA Wireless 2012.

The Neustar Intelligent Cloud service uses anonymous data from a wireless carrier’s network and couples it with marketing data gathered by its newly acquired subsidiary TargusInfo to provide location-based information and privacy protection tools for mobile developers to provide targeted communications to consumers who opt in.

The service, Foster said, enables marketing solutions providers to build context-based apps that get information from the network about location and the device and deliver targeted marketing or advertising to users who have opted into the service. She said the service follows all of the privacy guidelines established by such organizations as the CTIA and Mobile Marketing Association to ensure users don’t receive irrelevant spam.

Among Neustar’s demos at the show was the ability to associate a prepaid credit card with a phone account to make mobile payments. The phone can then use Near Field Communications or a bar code to make a purchase.

Location is inherent in the network information, but Foster said the ability to refine the user information with demographic profiles like household income and age make the service even more compelling.

The service also enables the basic distribution of information. She declined to go into detail, but she said an example might be the distribution of health care information to a segment of the population that might not otherwise have access to the information.

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