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Industry Discusses Affects of Google & Nokia Free Map Offer

As the Mobile World Congress (News - Alert) takes place this week in Barcelona, Spain, a hot topic of discussion is the new map offer on Google (News - Alert) and Nokia smartphones, and how the satellite industry is looking for new ways to balance the change.
“Navigation on phones was an industry, now it is an application, an application for free,” said Tim Shepherd of industry consultants Canalys, adding that the news of the free mapping application is directly impacting navigation business across the globe.
However, the Nokia's (News - Alert) and Google's move to offer free maps may or may not creates opportunities for other parts of the industry.
Gerhard Mayr, vice president for the global phone business of Navigon, said the company has a plan B in terms of balancing this new initiative, and that an announcement later this year should get the ball rolling.
“We now see an increase in appetite for our solutions,” said Mayr. “We are in discussions with several parties.”
And others are trying to make the map more than just a map.
For now, we’ll just have to wait and see how much this will impact satellite and others less privy to these new applications, and just how much people who have them enjoy the free map capabilities.

Kelly McGuire is a TMCnet Web editor, covering CRM and workforce technologies, and anchor of its daily TMC Newsroom video broadcast. Kelly also writes about eco-friendly "green" technologies and smart grids, compiling TMCnet's weekly e-Newsletters on those topics, as well as the cable industry. To read more of Kelly's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Kelly McGuire

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