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Published on October 12th, 2007 | by Babar Bhatti


On Nokia's Navteq Deal

Simeon Simeonov analyses Nokia’s acquisition of Navteq:

Mapping is the killer mobile app. Whether you have location-based services (LBS) or not, the chances are that you are using mobile mapping software on your smartphone and starting to take it for granted that it will just be there for you when you need it. So it is no surprise that there has been some interesting M&A activity in this space.

Navteq and TeleAtlas are the top providers of street-level information, which is the key to enabling mapping and navigation applications. These are businesses where the barriers to entry are quite high–getting the initial set of street-level data requires a ton of data crunching & surveying. From that perspective, the two companies’ core value proposition is well-protected.

With the two big street mapping players now part of larger and even slower-moving companies, there may be an opportunity to disrupt this market in the next five years. The key question is one of bootstrap costs to get to a critical mass of good-enough data. I expect the solution will include three aspects:

  • User-generated content. See OpenStreetMap, for example.
  • New Location Mashing Technologies (LMTs–I’m inventing a new term here because I don’t know what to call these). I see these coming in two forms: (1) from the world of unstructured information to the world of latitudes and longitudes, e.g., MetaCarta, and (2) between more traditional geolocation databases, which some in notoriously many different formats.
  • Business models that use Navteq and TeleAtlas data (perhaps via their consumer rendition of Google Maps, etc.) as a crutch to fall back to when the data isn’t good enough.

About the Author

Founder and Editor of TelecomPk.net

0 Responses to On Nokia's Navteq Deal

  1. ramin hassan says:

    Me clear my Fsc from al asar acadmey usterzai payan kohat.And got first division
    in Fsc.At that time i want to apply for job.If you have any vacancy please reply me.my mobile number is 03349531898

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  3. khuram says:

    when will pakistan’s map available in n95?

  4. Babar Bhatti says:

    Thanks for the comments Rizwan and Alias. I agree that in Asia location based services are still not mainstream. But the potential is there — only if one could avoid the govt red tape and corruption!

  5. alias says:

    An intelligent post, Babar. Obviously Nokia realized the value of location-based information and made a move in the right direction acquiring Navteq.

    Closer to home, though, the industry has yet to realize the potential GIS stores for them. Other than the generic applications that the telecom, oil and gas industry has made use of, the public is still without an affordable GIS application that they can use. On top of that is the secretive safe-guarding of data in the hands of a couple of companies. With the exorbitant prices and stupid Survey of Pakistan policies, it will be several years before we can see that data being made use of by the average Pakistani tech enthusiast, unless, Google can do something about it.

  6. Rizwan says:

    I just wonder how does this fit in with google maps and virtual earth, both of these services are available on mobile devices. In google maps case, there are already free apps out there http://www.mgmaps.com which get maps from Google primarily but also from Yahoo and Virtual earth. Surely these maps are much more updated and more appealing to people then going for a paid service. Above mentioned application also allows GPS data to be used with map to pin point you or use directions feature found popular TomTom or alternatives.

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