Ericsson and Palmtop Software unveil map services for mobile devices

Ericsson and Palmtop Software unveil today a new range of location-based WAP services that will enable mobile access to local maps and pinpoint routes to selected destinations.

This new Ericsson range of services, called Location Based Information Services, will be available via operators and service providers on WAP phones as well as other devices supporting standards such as HTML or WML.

This service offering is built on Palmtop Software's highly sophisticated map compression and routing information technology that provides map images directly onto the terminal display. With this Ericsson solution, operators can offer mobile users route descriptions and the ability to search their immediate location for the nearest attractions. Users can choose from a variety of categories of services, including restaurants and shopping centers, cinemas, public transport, hairdressers and many others.

In searching for a local Italian restaurant, for example, users can organize their search findings in order of proximity, select their preference and then request a description of the route in text or graphical form. Presented graphically, the chosen route is highlighted on a map showing the local geography of the area. Users can request the quickest possible routes for either walking or driving, even taking into consideration one-way streets.

"We're delighted to be able to offer these new location-based services. They will make life easier when being on the move, whether it's business or leisure. It's also a good example of how a WAP application makes the mobile phone an essential portable companion," says Karl-Erik Moberg, Program Manager for Mobile Positioning Applications at Ericsson. "This new mapping service showcases the amazing potential for personal location-based information services. We're no longer in the realms of

glossy but superficial gadgets. We're now offering mobile users access to the kind of information they need and when they need it, on the move," says Harold Goddijn, Chairman of Palmtop Software. Ericsson's Location Based Information Services are designed with future technologies in mind and provide the network operator with a service enabling platform for positioning applications over GPRS and 3G networks.

Stored in a network operator's server, these services download compressed information upon request to any WAP-enabled phone or smartphone. To guarantee updated high-quality content, data is continuously updated from different types of information sources.

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