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Nokia Offers Free Global Mapping for Its Phones

Smartphones continue to gain more features and computing-like capabilities. After Google announced it would offer free maps and navigation on phones using its Android operating system, Nokia decided to one-up the search engine provider-turned-mobile phone maker. Datamation guides you through the details.

SAN FRANCISCO -- Nokia is leveraging its considerable portfolio of navigation services to become the first company to offer free navigation worldwide on its handsets. Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) shook up the nav market earlier when it announced free maps and navigation on Android-based handsets in the U.S., but Nokia has considerably more reach.

The new offering, Ovi Maps, has its roots in Nokia's multi-billion purchase in 2007 of navigation leader Navteq. Nokia previously charged for the services, which include turn-by-turn navigation in 74 countries, it's now offering for free.

"Google's in the U.S. only, while Nokia via Navteq offers the best coverage in the world from Africa to China, Europe and elsewhere," Dominique Bonte, practice director at ABI Research told InternetNews.com. "What's unexpected about this is that when you get something for free, it's not usually the best in the market, but this is."

But where Google's Android OS is appearing on a growing number of smartphones, Ovi Maps is, for now, only available on Nokia smartphones. The Nokia 5800 and E72 are among the ten the Finnish mobile phone giant it's available on now with more to follow. Starting in March, Nokia said it plans to preload phones with Ovi Maps. Lonely Planet and Michelin Travel Guide content is also being made available free to Nokia users.

Read the full story at Datamation:
Nokia Goes Global With Free Navigation