Mapquest and Telmap slash price of cell phone navigation in the U.S.



Mapquest and Telmap slash price of cell phone navigation in the U.S.
MapQuest, in partnership with Telmap, today announced that the newest version of its voice-guided, GPS-enabled wireless application, MapQuest Navigator 5.0, is now available to consumers through a new direct-to-consumer storefront on MapQuest.com. Customers who sign up for new version 5.0 at between now and December 31, 2007 can download the application directly to their handset and purchase the service for the promotional price of $4.99 per month for the life of the subscription. This new version is available for a large range of Blackberry devices for Sprint, T-Mobile and AT&T customers.

"Consumers now have immediate access to GPS navigation on compatible devices at a fraction of the price of competitive products," said Alan Beiagi, Director of MapQuest Wireless.

This latest version of MapQuest Navigator includes several new features. First, Live Traffic, powered by INRIX offers traffic conditions and rerouting in more than 106 markets across the United States. Second, AOL CityGuide provides MapQuest Navigator users with local listings and ratings of restaurants and nightlife information for nearly 40 of the top cities across the United States. Third, the solution offers the lowest fuel prices nearest to your location, and search by station brand, distance or fuel type, including diesel and alternative fuels. Finally the Telmap software includes a Text to Speech Technology: street names and navigation instructions are voice-announced along the route in advance of turns. The voice interface will also specify the destination as “on the left” or “on the right” upon arrival.

Pedestrian navigaton
Pedestrian navigaton
Pedestrian navigaton
Pedestrian navigaton
MapQuest Navigator also enables users to be re-routed in the event of a missed turn without the need to contact the mapping server when the user is located within the downloaded route corridor, resulting in more rapid and reliable re-routing. Coming soon, users will also be able to leverage a new “Send to Navigator” feature, enabling them to research and plan their trips on MapQuest.com and send locations from the site to MapQuest Navigator.

At this price and with the included set of features, Mapquest navigator not only position itself as a more serious competitor to TeleNav, but also might capture a new segment of customers that was not willing to pay $10 a month but could sign up for $5. Indeed, a poll by Harris, conducted in May and June 2007, shows that with a price set at $11.99 per month only 4 % are extremely likely/very likely to subscribe; at $8.99 they are 6% and at 5.99$ it grows to 19%. (read more here).

Monday, November 19th 2007

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