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NAVIGATION: Orange launches off-board GPS navigation system for mobile phones
Posted by Arne Hess - on Wednesday, 01.11.06 - 09:53:16 CET under 01 - General News - Viewed 17443x
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Orange Business Services today launched a new GPS navigation application to be downloaded on to a range of mobile devices – including smartphones and PDAs from Nokia, Sony Ericsson, BlackBerry and Orange's Windows Mobile Pocket PCs and Smartphones – providing its business customers with a real-time, cost effective solution.
Powered by Webraska, a leading provider of GPS navigation solutions, Sat-Nav from Orange can be used when walking, cycling or driving. Rather than having a specific device just for this application, Sat-Nav from Orange works on a range of mobile devices making it a cost effective business investment. All maps and live traffic updates are held on a central server and are downloadable from the internet via WiFi, 3G, GPRS or the Orange EDGE network onto the mobile device. This saves precious memory space and ensures that maps and points of interest are always up to date.

Sat-Nav allows users to save time, fuel and money by working out the most efficient route to a destination. According to navigational analyst Canalys "The mobile GPS navigation market is doubling year on year in EMEA. By the end of the year 14 million Sat Nav units will have been sold in the UK of which around 1 million will be on smartphone devices." Sat-Nav on mobile devices means that users are free from the constraints of having a fixed device. Users can switch modes of transports, whether it is pool, hire or their own cars and can even get directions when walking.

"Using Sat-Nav on your mobile means businesses can save time and money. It is easy to use and enables businesses to streamline the number of devices they have to purchase and manage" said Gareth Williams, Group Manager Solution Products, Orange Business Services. "The location based service market is currently around £55m and estimated to double by 2009 according to the Yankee Group. Orange is well placed to capitalise on this opportunity through our brand, channel reach, customer service and understanding of how applications work in a mobile environment."

The application is quick and easy to install on a number of mobile devices and once installed, it is easy to download routes. The detailed maps from NAVTEQ are stored on Webraska’s servers and hold information on hotels, restaurants, parking and other useful points of interest as well as speed cameras and live traffic information. The maps are updated every three months and therefore more up to date than standard Sat-Nav devices for which users need to buy new maps on an annual basis.

Once each route has been downloaded, Sat-Nav from Orange provides GPS-triggered real-time, turn by turn voice instructions, clear maps with road names and pictograms of turns, which provide accurate directions, even in the most built up areas. Favorite routes can be saved to mobile devices. The real-time road traffic information allows routes to be optimized according to traffic conditions and enables automatic re-routing should traffic conditions become challenging.

Jean-Michel Durocher, Founder and EVP of Webraska, said "Working together, Webraska and Orange have produced an application that can help you get to wherever you need to be, by the best possible route, whether you are in your car, walking or on a bike. It offers all the benefits of a traditional Sat-Nav unit with real-time access to new maps and the latest information whilst eliminating the need for expensive and bulky hardware equipment."

Sat Nav from Orange is priced at £150 excluding VAT. This includes the software license, a GPS receiver with in-car charger and a car windshield or fan grid for the mobile device. The download of journey routes will be charged at standard pay as you use data rates.

Real time traffic information is available for an additional annual charge of £27.59 excluding VAT. Maps for all of Europe are also available for an additional annual charge of £27.59 excluding VAT.

Cheers ~ Arne

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