GPS, Beacons, or Wi-Fi: How to Pick the Right Technology for Your LBS App?

Mobile GPS navigation concept. Smartphone and application with r

Location-based services (LBS), via official business mobile apps, are being used worldwide to both engage customers as well as provide a host of useful services to them. LBS can significantly boost a company’s marketing efforts and improve revenue generation. If you run a real-world business – like a retail store, a health care centre, or a restaurant – integrating location-related services into your app is a necessity these days.

Picking the Right Technology

Location-based services can be provided on a mobile application via a global positioning system (GPS), beacons, and WiFi – or a combination of two or all of them. With them, you can provide push notifications to customers when they are in the vicinity of your business or office space. You can target them with ads, special offers, or just helpful information.

So which one should you be using? Here are some comparisons between the three to help you figure that out:

WiFi Technology

With WiFi, users will be asked for permission before they can connect to your network and you can send push notifications to them. This option doesn’t drain much battery, and the extra step is good for authentication. This technology has a limited range.


GPS is a good choice if you want to target people who are far away from your office/business. The technology uses a satellite in the sky to pinpoint a users’ location and doesn’t require the user’s permission every time. This option is heavy on the battery and uses data.


Beacons are small transmitters that can fit anywhere (like inconspicuously on doors), and they send out Bluetooth signals that modern smartphones can pick up. This technology has limited range, but it doesn’t use any cellular data and is very light on the battery. It is also low-cost and lets you know when a user enters your premises.


The technology you should be using will depend on your budget, your business type, requirements, and goals. You can also use a combination of two or more technologies. If you’re still unsure, we recommend you consult with an experienced app development company, so you’ll be able to make an informed decision.


Author: Melanie Antoine

Openwave Computing is a premier Information Technology leader, providing exemplary services to the clients worldwide since 1997. We have transformed companies through the value chain, providing technology to attain a competitive advantage. We, Openwave, transform our relationships from being just a service partner to a strategic partner. We excel in understanding their unique requirements and customize our services to fulfill all their technology needs.

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