Nokia has announced plans to offer a new version of Ovi Maps for its Smartphone that includes high-end walk and drive navigation free of charge to consumers.
The content comes from digital maps maker Navteq, which Nokia acquired in 2007, and the Ovi platform.
This new version is a world worldwide walk and drive navigation for S60 handsets, complete with turn-by-turn spoken voice guidance for 74 countries, in 46 languages, traffic information in 10 countries and both online as well as detailed maps for more than 180 country and offline functionality.
Executive Vice President, Nokia, Anssi Vanjoki, explained that “we want to make using mobile for navigation as familiar as using it to send a text or take a picture. We believe that making the best maps with voice guided navigation available for free will be the catalyst to do this.
He said “cameras at no extra cost to our phones we quickly became the biggest camera manufacturer in the world. The aim of the new Ovi Maps is to enable us to do the same for navigation”.
By making the navigation service free, Nokia expects to attract a bigger user base for its new services, operator data services and third-party location apps, as well as expand business opportunities for its digital mapping unit Navteq.
Currently ten Smartphone can access the service. Combining the maps and navigation with the camera and GPS on the phone opens up a whole new range of applications, such as augmented reality and location-based services, while also putting new advertising income within reach.
According to research firm Canalys, around 27 million people worldwide used GPS navigation on their mobile phones at the end of 2009.
Nokia said its new Ovi Maps service would grow this potential base to around 50 million.
Ovi Maps is immediately available for download for 10 Nokia handsets, including the N97 mini, 5800 XpressMusic and E72.
Compatible devices includes Nokia X6, Nokia N97 mini, E72, E55, E52, Nokia 6730 classic, Nokia 6710 Navigator, Nokia 5800 Xpressmusic, Nokia 5800 Navigation Edition, Nokia 5230.
From March 2010, new Nokia GPS-enabled Smartphone will include the new version of Ovi Maps, pre-loaded with local country map data, with walk and drive navigation and access to Lonely Planet and Michelin travel guides at no extra cost.