The announcement builds on the company’s partnerships and acquisitions developed in South Africa for the last three years. In November 2006 Tele Atlas signed a license and distribution agreement with MapIT (Pty) Ltd., based in Pretoria. The agreement gave Tele Atlas full map coverage of South Africa and neighbouring countries. Then, in November 2007 Tele Atlas took a 76% controlling interest in Georigin (Pty) Ltd. also based in Pretoria. Georigin is specialized in data collection of West, East & Southern Africa and has a 49% interest in MapIT.
Tele Atlas African map database now encompasses coverage for more than 1.1 million kilometers, more than 290,000 POIs, and - in addition to the newly launched countries - coverage of Botswana, Egypt, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia and South Africa.
99% PND market in South Africa
In its press release Tele Atlas points out that in South Africa alone, research firm GfK reports that Tele Atlas maps power 99% of the personal navigation units currently deployed. As a matter of fact, Garmin is using the MapIT database under the Garmap brand and is reported to have around 80% of this PND market today. TomTom and Mio are the other key contributors to Tele Atlas hegemonic reach. Tele Atlas competitor NAVTEQ has a South Africa database since July 2006.
The South African market is expected to grow to 350,000 PND units in 2009. Moving forward, the FIFA World Cup to be held in South Africa in 2010 will also give a boost to this market.