Nokia expands GPS navigation handset line

By Matthew Henry

SYDNEY: Nokia today launched its third GPS navigation-enabled mobile phone handset, the Navigator 6110, which incorporates Navteq maps providing over 99 per cent coverage of Australia’s one million kilometres of roads.

The 6110 follows the Nokia N95 and E90 handsets in incorporating GPS navigation capability.

"The integration of navigation into mobile handsets is a key trend this year," said Nokia general manager, Shaun Colligan.

"Just like many believe the mp3 player will be marginalized by converged devices – and we have already seen digital cameras experience the same marginalization with high quality camera phones – we’re going to see this with navigation.”

The 6110 comes with A-GPS technology, which uses the phone tower to pinpoint the phone’s location much faster than other GPS units, taking just one minute instead of up to five.

According to Nokia, the 6110 Navigator provides around 99.9 per cent mapping coverage of Australian roads out of the box thanks to its partnership with map provider Navteq.

Navteq, a publicly-listed US company, has been in Australia for over 2.5 years and has established partnerships with around six navigation product manufacturers including Road Angel and automotive navigation installers for Peugeot and Chrysler.

The company deployed 100 staff to Australia including 50 drivers and 50 geographic analysts to scour the country’s one million kilometers of roads, recording over 12.5 million addresses and 64,000 points of interest in the process.

“Research we have done with our customers confirms that an up to date map and accurate map is considered a necessary requirement for a navigation product. We have found that driving the roads is an essential element in putting together a good map,” said a Navteq spokesperson.

Navteq is one of just a handful of multinational mapping companies creating maps for GPS navigation devices for 16 countries around the world. To date, GPS mapping has been regionally-based with many independent operators servicing just their local area.

Nokia’s GPS phones also allow new software applications beyond just navigation, such as the Sports Tracker software which uses GPS technology to give riders and joggers information on their workout including speed, altitude, duration and route of travel.

“We are interested not just in turn-by-turn directions, our products allow consumers to be made aware of what is around them,” said Colligan.

Other features of the 6110 include 3G network access, 2.0 megapixel digital camera, video call, music player and visual radio, Bluetooth and USB connectivity.

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