Back in early January, a company called Telmap issued a press release announcing it is the dominant provider of mobile-phone based navigation in EMEA, with a 46 percent market share. It passed us by at the time, mainly because we were in the middle of CES, but also because we'd never heard of Telmap.
In the light of free satnav announcements from Google and Nokia, however, as well as the decision of companies like ALK Technologies to focus on the mobile sector, it's worth considering that statistic again - almost half of the EMEA market.
We spoke to Motti Kushnir - the CMO of Telmap (pictured) - to find out more about the phone-based satnav market and how Telmap has come to dominate it. He explained that Telmap is a white-label provider that effectively sells its products through phone operators. It has deals with Orange, O2/Telefonica and Vodafone, so mystery solved.
Phone satnav can be subdivided into on-board (the map info is loaded onto the device) and off-board (map info and routing calculation done by a remote server and accessed via a phone connection. Telmap is an off-board provider. For context, Google Maps Navigation is off-board, while Nokia and ALK's CoPilot are on-board.
An obvious Achilles Heel of off-board is the need for a connection. Not only does this potentially leave you stranded if you can't get one, but with mobile Internet bandwidth coming under increasing pressure, may face increasing limitations as time goes on.