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“Navigation on cellphones is the next big wave”
How do you see the prospects of GPS enabled mobile handsets?
Nokia sees that location based experiences, such as mapping and navigation as a fundamental platform in mobile devices going forward. With mobile phones becoming an integral part of their lives, consumers are looking at more and more functionality on a single device, hence the maps and navigation services on a mobile phone have a lot of potential. The main advantage of GPS on mobile device is having mapping, routing and navigation functionality besides the regular handset features like SMS, camera, email etc.
Would you like to indicate some figure to highlight the potential of navigation market in India?
The maps and navigation market has exploded in recent years, especially in developed geographies like the USA, Europe and some parts of Asia Pacific. According to a report by Canalys, 7.4 million mobile navigation devices were shipped globally in 2007 and this number is expected to grow in the years to come. As per a recent study conducted by us, Navigation has already become one of the top five mobile services globally – others being imaging, music, SMS and gaming.
What is your opinion about PND v/s mobile phone based navigation?
Maps & Navigation on a cell phone are poised to be the next big wave in mobility since a cell phone is always with the consumer and makes their lives simpler. Realising the potential of these services, We have made Maps and navigation a standard feature in all Nokia Nseries multimedia computers and in a wide range of Nokia phones. We have introduced the “Navigator” branded devices, which are truly optimized for Navigation. We will introduce a number of GPS enabled mobile devices in 2008 that will offer an enhanced maps and navigation experience.
Where do you position Nokia vis-à-vis other players in the GPS phones segment?
The industry is converging towards Internet driven experiences and Navigation represents Nokia’s vision in combining Internet and mobility on a common platform. We have taken a lead in this space with bringing out a wide array of devices like the Nokia 6110 Navigator, N95, N95 8GB, N82 and E90 that offer onboard GPS along with high-speed connectivity. All current Nokia S60 and many Series 40 devices also support GPS via a Bluetooth wireless module.
Will LBS become one of fastest growing mobile based Value Added Services market in India?
Yes, the interest is rising in India as the use of location-based services not only benefits the customers but also offers benefits to the industry, including network operators and the marketers / advertisers. A-GPS increases the value of services that operators can offer, while also enabling a much wider range of revenue-generating services. GPS technology helps communicate advertisers’ messages to potential customers in more and more creative ways.
What are the challenges that need to be addressed to accelerate the growth of LBS in India?
Location based services is a new concept in India, hence the main challenge is the lack of awareness among users. As a responsible market leader, one of the things we would be focusing on is educating the mobile users on the concept of Navigation and showcasing live demos at various touch points (Shopping malls, Nokia Concept stores, Airports etc) Secondly, most of the country has not been digitally mapped. Mapping extends only to the main cities and will take some time to get to other locations.