Nokia and France Télécom said they had agreed to a partnership to provide Internet services over mobile telephones in nine European countries.
Under the agreement, France Télécom’s mobile phone unit, Orange, will provide its mobile music store, while Nokia will contribute digital mapping to enable location-based advertising and search services to Orange’s cell phone customers. Both companies will supply video games.
Customers will be charged for the services on their Orange bills, eliminating the need for credit card transactions. Terms of the partnership, which is effective for three years, were not disclosed.
In related news, gamers are up in arms after learning Nokia’s N-Gage titles are locked to that specific device forever. If a gamer changes or upgrades to a different Nokia handset they have to purchase the games again.
First announced in February, Nokia Maps 2.0 has improved its optional Car Navigation, enhanced its pedestrian navigation, multimedia city guides, satellite images, and a redesigned user interface. It provides local content in a way that only a connected devices can, says Nokia
- Improved optional Car Navigation equals with faster routing.
- New navigation carousel with pre-defined navigation views — navigation, arrow, bird-eye.
- Signposts and multi-stop route planner
- Optional pedestrian navigation. Gives information about the surrounding buildings, streets and parks and, if the device supports it, notifies the direction you are walking.
- Public transportation info in 17 cities with localized icons for stops.
- Advanced multi-sensor positioning using A-GPS, and pedestrian
orientation using the compass feature (Nokia 6210 Navigator needed for
built-in compass usage)
- Satellite images with hybrid rendering overlays for selected cities with aerial views on your mobile.
- Signature “one-box search” for places, addresses, restaurants, nightlife, outdoor, accommodation.
- New premium multi-media city guides including features photos, video,
Nokia Maps 2.0 uses vector maps provided by Navteq and TeleAtlas, covering over 200 countries, with over 70 of them navigable. Maps can be downloaded over the air directly to selected devices or by using the Nokia Map Loader on a PC. A new beta version of the Nokia Map Loader is available on the Nokia Betalabs web site.
Nokia Maps 2.0 and the current commercial version of the Nokia Maps Loader is freely available for selected devices, although monthly charges may apply.
GasBuddy.com, which serves as an umbrella site for 180 regionalized sites covering some 170,000 gas stations in the U.S. and Canada, has seen more of a steady climb in traffic, said co-founder Jason Toews. GasBuddy now gets about 2 million visitors a day, he said.