Nokia to roll out free mobile map service

Nokia today announced that it is making its smart2go mapping and navigation platform, available for free download, enabling millions of people to use the most comprehensive map coverage offered on a mobile device. The platform allows for mapping and routing in over 150 countries and has support for full turn-by-turn satellite navigation in over 30 countries. The application allows people to view where they are on a map, search for points-of-interests (POI) around them and create routes to get them there free of charge. Nokia plans to start offering the smart2go application for free, on Saturday, February 10th, for selected Nokia S60 and Windows Mobile 5.0 devices initially and has plans to roll out support for most of the major mobile OS platforms including Nokia S60, Series 40, PocketPC, Linux and other Windows Mobile devices.

Nokia plans to pre-install the smart2go mapping and navigation application on all future Nokia Nseries multimedia computers under the name "Nokia Maps". Current owners of Nokia devices may also download Nokia Maps to their supported devices. And now, by paring your non-GPS enabled mobile device with a Nokia Wireless GPS Module LD-3W or other compatible GPS module, Nokia Maps can provide the same fantastic navigation experience for a broad range of Nokia devices.

View: Smart2Go
News source: Nokia

The platform contains over 15 million POIs that help people explore the most interesting sights, restaurants or accommodations around them. Customers can select their favorite locations and send them to friends by multimedia message, Bluetooth wireless technology, infrared or e-mail. They can also send map excerpts and routes or save map screen shots to the gallery on the device. Recognized brand names like McDonald's will have the option to place branded icons across the world's digital maps downloaded onto millions of mobile devices.

"People will trust and use maps if they have those maps with them when they need them, and smart2go allows consumers the full freedom of which maps they want to carry with them. By offering Nokia Maps and smart2go for free on your mobile device, cost is no longer a barrier for anyone to enjoy the convenience of maps and routing on-the-go," said Ralph Eric Kunz, vice-president, Nokia, Multimedia. "Nokia is on track to build the world's most connected location based platform for mobile devices which also opens up interesting opportunities for future services."

smart2go is a hybrid map solution: Map data from Tele-Atlas and Navteq can be downloaded directly via wireless network (e.g. GPRS/3G/WLAN) and stored on the devices memory card as needed. If all the desired map data is stored, no network connection is needed for mapping, routing and navigation. For managing downloads of bigger sizes there is an additional PC desktop tool available.

smart2go comes with the option to upgrade to full fledged turn-by-turn navigation. With just some clicks, customers can turn their device into a voice guided navigation system by purchasing a navigation license. There are various licenses available: from a one week to a three year term. When traveling to a new country for holiday one can download the relevant maps via PC in advance and subscribe to the navigation service for the duration of the holiday at affordable cost.

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