Mobile GPS – the way forward

Manufacturers must believe that consumers spend much of their time getting lost, and are therefore introducing users to the world of SatNav. Both Orange and Nokia have released GPS solutions this week in separate bids to put nagging female voices in cars (as if they weren’t there already).

Nokia’s answer, the 330, is a standalone GPS unit much like the current favourite TomTom.

The 330 has a 3.5inch colour touchscreen, an integrated GPS antenna, and comes with a 2gb memory card preinstalled with European maps. The visual instructions can be tailored to individual preference with adjustable 2D/3D, day or night view, or alter the audio to suit language or volume, or simply request a repeat of the last instruction.

It also comes bundled with entertainment features too, so you can enjoy your music player, photo viewer and video player.  

The Orange solution is for existing mobile handsets including smartphones and PDAs from Nokia, Sony Ericsson, BlackBerry and Orange, essentially turning handsets into the single device that everyone carries around.

All maps and live traffic updates are held on a central server and are downloadable from the Internet via Wi-fi, 3G, GPRS or the Orange EDGE network onto the mobile device. This saves precious memory space and ensures that maps and points of interest are always up to date.

The detailed maps from NAVTEQ are stored on servers and hold information on hotels, restaurants, parking and other useful points of interest as well as speed cameras and live traffic information. The maps are updated every three months and therefore more up to date than standard Sat-Nav devices for which users need to buy new maps on an annual basis.

The Nokia 330 Auto Navigation is expected to be available in select channels in Europe during the fourth quarter 2006 at an estimated retail price of EUR 360 (£240) without taxes.

Sat Nav from Orange is priced at £150 (ex. VAT). This includes the software license, a GPS receiver with in-car charger and a car windshield or fan grid for the mobile device. The download of journey routes will be charged at standard pay as you use data rates. Real-time traffic information is available for an additional annual charge of £27.59 (ex. VAT). Maps for all of Europe are also available for an additional annual charge of £27.59 (ex. VAT).