AT&T Nav Service Getting Upgrade Via New TeleNav Technology

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Las Vegas - TeleNav will show up here at tomorrow's International CTIA Wireless 2010 with a new version of carrier-provided subscription-based navigation service that overcomes some of the limitations of carriers' current navigation services.

TeleNav will launch its GPS Navigator 6.0 service on Wednesday through AT&T as the AT&T Navigator service, available initially on the BlackBerry Curve 8900 and BlackBerry Bold 9000. On these phones, the service will provide lane assist, speed-limit warnings, traffic-camera warnings and one-touch speech recognition for common functions such as destination entry.

More important, the service eliminates a major drawback to carrier-provided subscription services, which until now lacked the ability to reroute a driver who missed a recommended turn while out of cellular-signal range, said Aly Lalji, TeleNav's carrier marketing associate director.

The previous version of TeleNav's carrier-delivered service, available through multiple carriers, continues to guide drivers who lose signal coverage -- but only if they remain on the recommended route and don't accidentally turn off the route, Lalji said. Likewise, the Google Maps Navigation service also comes with this limitation, he added. Google Maps Navigation is available on the Android-based Motorola Droid and Google Nexus One.

TeleNav's upgrade will appear first on smartphones but will migrate later this year to lower-priced phones because the TeleNav client does not demand a lot of processing power from a phone, Lalji continued.

Here's how TeleNav GPS Navigator 6.0 service is able to reroute drivers out of cellular range: The phone downloads a portion of TeleNav's routing algorithm for temporary local storage. The phone also caches a map of the desired route as well as maps of hundreds of miles of roadways around the route. As a result, the phone can reroute a vehicle that loses cellular signal and accidentally turns off the designated route.

The previous version of TeleNav Navigator technology downloaded only the maps and driving instructions for the route calculated by TeleNav's server but no maps of the area surrounding that route. The technology also didn't download any portion of TeleNav's routing algorithm. As a result, phones with the previous technology can't reroute motorists who drive off the planned route into an area without cellular coverage.


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