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CES: Nokia adds mapping to converged mobiles

Smart2Go provides free mapping and routing

Nokia plans to include the mapping and routing service it acquired along with Gate5 AG last year in all of its converged devices, the phone giant said at CES, the International Consumer Electronics Show, yesterday.

The capability, called Smart2Go, will offer free mapping and routing services to users and will also include a turn-by-turn navigation service for a fee. The offering will work in tandem with GPS (Global Positioning Service), which Nokia is increasingly including in its phones.

Smart2Go customers will use Wi-Fi or a direct connection to a PC to download maps to the phones. The service currently includes maps for 100 countries and over 13 million icons on the maps that indicate sites like restaurants, hotels and gas stations.

Users can search for restaurants based on cuisine type and the results will be listed based on proximity to the user. The results include links to directions, reviews and the ability to call the restaurant directly.

Last year, Nokia began to focus heavily on including location services in its phones. In addition to the Gate5 buy, Nokia acquired the exclusive right to license and sublicense 700 GPS patents owned by Trimble Navigation.

Half of respondents to a recent Nokia survey said they'd like to have maps and information about their surrounding area in their phones, according to Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo, chairman and CEO of Nokia. "It's a natural for mobile phones to do this," he said while speaking at CES.


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