TeleNav GPS Navigator is now being offered through T-Mobile in the United Kingdom.
The location-based services (LBS) vendor has had a presence overseas for about two years now, having launched with the likes of T-Mobile Austria and Telecom Italia. Consumers can buy the solution directly from TeleNav in about 15 countries.
But the T-Mobile deal in the UK marks the first big direct distribution through a carrier in the United Kindgom. “For us, this is our landmark deal in Europe,” says Sal Dhanani, co-founder and senior director of marketing at TeleNav. Among the many advantages of partnering with a carrier is the breadth of distribution, he says. “They have a lot more muscle.”
Europe typically is ahead of the U.S. market in terms of advanced wireless services, but in the case of LBS, the United States has been a few years ahead, mainly because GPS was incorporated early on in certain handsets. Now that the GSM world is starting to put GPS in handsets, it’s catching up.
About a half dozen or more enterprise GSM/GPS phones are available in the United States, but Dhanani expects much more availability in the second quarter.
The service through T-Mobile is available on a variety of BlackBerry smartphones; the BlackBerry 8700, Pearl 8100 and 7130 models require the use of a Bluetooth GPS receiver.
The TeleNav service through T-Mobile UK includes GPS-enabled turn-by-turn voice and on-screen driving directions, addresses and directions to business and community locations, as well as color 3D moving maps and a pedestrian mode so customers can use it while walking.