Q&A: Nokia's plans for free Satnav domination

We spoke to Rupert Englander, head of services marketing for Nokia, about the mobile giant's plans to bundle free navigation software with all its handsets.

Once you remove the barriers of cost in any service, you automatically open it up to a wider audience. In addition, the fact that on a sub 100 pre-pay device you can get unlimited global navigation as well as an app store and paid-for content from the Ovi store means you've suddenly got a massively feature-rich phone at a price point that opens things up to a whole new group of adopters.

Do you see this being attractive to business users and consumers alike?

Absolutely. Business people can use it in a professional sense as a mechanism to keen costs down, which is fantastic. The other opportunity I see is with apps. At Nokia World we announced a set of toolkits and APIs that will enable businesses and or developers to create a whole host of very specialised, or open, directed apps.

So businesses can start to look at the whole mapping piece as part of their business process and get a realisation of what it can mean to so many different vertical sectors. A haulage company, for example, could very easily develop an app to help haulage drivers and truck drivers.

So this is as much a boon for the developer community as it is for end users?

We had a develop event towards the end of last year concentrating our efforts in the UK on becoming much more visible and answerable to the developer community.

We re-announced the APIs and talked through them. There's certainly a massive opportunity for developers to take applications and apply a level of mapping navigation or what have you in ways that were previously not appealing because of the barriers to entry.

So this is a big deal for Nokia then?

We've already started a communications campaign. There's an advert at the back of the Metro newspaper and you'll see loads more activity.

We're also working closely with the operator community to get the message across to their channels and talking to Nokia customers directly to make sure they're aware.

It's great. It's not often that such disruptive things take place.

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