Until last year, Hyderabad-based SatNav Technologies was the only vendor of GPS devices. Since then, other companies have also entered the market with their own products. These include GPS-enabled mobile phones, personal digital assistants (PDAs) with built-in GPS receivers and other PNDs.
...MapmyIndia’s online maps are now used by several organisations such as Yahoo! India, Yatra.com and even India’s Election Commission. This September, the company introduced a PND for about Rs 22,000. It also launched several new navigation products. These include new PNDs, free-to-download navigation software and maps for mobile phones and PDAs, and a Web-based SMS service for directions.
...One company that promises to revolutionise the industry is Nokia. Two of its phones, the N95 and the E90, have built-in GPS capabilities . A third device is in the offing. “Navigation has the potential to surpass any other service, based on consumer need alone,” says Devinder Kishore, Nokia’s marketing director in India. Nokia’s recent moves show just that. According to media reports, the company will spend as much as $8 billion (Rs 32,000 crore) to buy NavTeq, the world’s largest digital mapping company. “If Nokia has its way, it will have GPS in most of its devices in two years,” says Canalys’s Jones.
Arun Natarajan is the Founder & CEO of Venture Intelligence, the leading provider of information and networking services to the private equity and venture capital ecosystem in India. View free samples of Venture Intelligence newsletters and reports.