Sony Ericsson partners with Nokia-owned NAVTEQ for LBS Challenge

Sony Ericsson partners with Nokia-owned NAVTEQ for LBS Challenge
Digital map provider NAVTEQ today has confirmed that Sony Ericsson will be sponsoring the NAVTEQ Global LBS Challenge for the 2009 edition.

As a Global Device Sponsor, Sony Ericsson will provide contestants with both devices and software tools to enable the development of applications based on either Sony Ericsson Java SDK or the new Project Capuchin technology - a Java API which defines a bridge between Flash and Java. The company will also be closely involved in the judging process for all three regions of the contest: Europe, the Americas and APAC.

“Our co-sponsorship with NAVTEQ for the Global LBS Challenge 2009 allows us to put our new Capuchin technology into the hands of developers with the intention of creating and exploring rich, innovative LBS applications,” said Christopher David, Head of Java Strategy Planning at Sony Ericsson.

Sony Ericsson partners with Nokia-owned NAVTEQ for LBS Challenge
Not scared by Nokia’s ownership
This announcement sounds like a real victory to NAVTEQ which, despite being recently bought by Nokia, seems to have sufficient recognition in the LBS/wireless industry to attract Sony Ericsson into its developer competition. Serge Bussat, head of NAVTEQ operations in Europe, who spoke to GPS Business News yesterday explained the positioning of its company towards the wireless industry: “my pitch to the wireless industry is that with Nokia ownership we are going to develop the right content and coverage for the wireless market. It is a guarantee for the wireless players”. It seems this kind of pitch has been well received at Sony Ericsson.

With this sponsorship Sony Ericsson also demonstrates a real interest for the LBS market. Unlike Nokia which is very talkative on this topic, Sony Ericsson management has been so far pretty shy on “location-aware” topics. However, the company’s device roadmap is illustrating this interest: with the launch of the G705 handset this week, it is the fourth (announced) GSM device to feature built-in GPS.


In another press release, NAVTEQ also said that geospatial platform provider deCarta will also be a Global Sponsor of the Challenge. deCarta has been a regular partner of the competition since its inception five years ago, but this is the first time the company goes global in sponsoring all three regions of the Challenge.

The global prize pool for this year’s NAVTEQ Global LBS Challenge is the largest to date, valued at over $5.25 million in cash, map and tool licenses, and devices.

Thursday, September 11th 2008

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