Vodafone Australia offers one year free off-board navigation

Vodafone Australia offers one year free off-board navigation
Vodafone Australia recently launched its handset navigation solution, Vodafone Compass, an off-board system powered by YappNav from Australian start-up Yapp Mobile. For all subscribers registering before 1 December 2007, Vodafone Australia offers 1 year free service. After this period the following options will be available: AU$2.50 for 24 hours (US$2.17), AU$8 per month (US$7), or AU$79 per year (US$69). This solution is only available today on the Blackberry 8310, “Vodafone Compass will be available on additional handsets commencing 1 November 2007” said the company.

Interviewing with Australian magazine The Age, Vodafone technical solutions product manager Mark Corless said these navigation fees could eventually be subsidised by advertisers. "In a couple of years' time you might have the option to either have a couple of ads and get it free or you actually pay a small service fee and you don't get any ads at all," he said.

Yapp plans to add audible street names to its service, but the size of the file is a challenge for a Smartphone. Therefore, next month, Compass’ users should be able to download to their PC the voice files for all street names across Australia and then transfer them to a phone memory card (1GB memory).

Vodafone’s key competitor mobile operator Telstra provides its off-board navigation service “Whereis Navigator” for AU$15 a month (US$13). Whereis Navigator is powered by French company Webraska.

Tuesday, September 25th 2007

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