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More Companies Offering Nav Services At CTIA Show

4/05/2006 08:49:00 AM Eastern

Las Vegas — More companies are offering hosted navigation services that leverage many handsets’ assisted-GPS technology to deliver turn-by turn driving instructions. Some of the services on display during the CTIA Wireless show this week are from Telmap and Mapquest.

Telmap: The company’s GPS navigation application and subscription service for cellphones has been upgraded to include a sliding and rotating map that moves in tandem with the user’s location in a manner similar to the maps on installed car-navigation systems.

Telmap’s software runs on Java- and smartphones and PDA phones based on the Blackberry, Linux, Microsoft, Palm and Symbian operating systems.

Telmap’s subscription price is $10-$12/month, and it includes maps for the United States, Europe, Australia, South Africa, the Middle East and other locations.

Telmap uses voice and graphic prompts to provide GPS-assisted real-time turn-by-turn driving and walking instructions through voice and graphic prompts. The software can be downloaded to the phone over the air, via wireless e-mail, or via CD or memory card.

Like other cellular navigation services, Telmap downloads instructions to a handset to minimize connect time and eliminate missed turns if a signal is lost. Also like others, it downloads common mistakes that people can make if they drive off course and automatically provides new instructions without reconnecting to the company’s server.

“For the first time, midrange cellphones, smartphones and Blackberries can have GPS navigation with truly high-quality rendering, map matching and natural movement from map area to map area,” said CEO Oren Nissim said.

MapQuest: The online map supplier announced its first cellphone-based navigation service to offer turn-by-turn driving instructions. The company expects its MapQuest Navigator service to be available through major U.S. carriers later this year.

GPS-equipped phones featuring BREW, Java, Windows Mobile or Symbian applications will be able to displays full-color maps and deliver turn-by-turn navigation instructions by voice, graphics and text. The service will be available in partnership with Telmap, which offers a navigation service for cellphones.

MapQuest’s Telmap-based service downloads maps and instructions to a handset to minimize connect time and eliminate missed turns if a signal is lost. It provides automatic rerouting in case of a missed turn without the need to re-contact Telmap server. It can be used for in-car navigation, but it features a pedestrian mode that ignores vehicle-turning and one-way driving restrictions;

MapQuest’s service also provides print-quality maps with zoom-in/out; pan-and-point functionality; and intuitive location search for addresses, intersections, ZIP codes and millions of points of interest.

In 2005, MapQuest extended its franchise into dedicated handheld GPS-navigation devices with a MapQuest-branded handheld navigation-device that stores MapQuest maps. It was developed in partnership with navigation-device maker TomTom. The device retails for $699 through MapQuest.com.

Also at CTIA, MapQuest announced that it is making it easier for Web-enabled phones to access MapQuest.com, a free Web service specifically designed and formatted for mobile phones to provide interactive maps and driving directions.

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