Interview: Dave Singer of Telmap on turn-by-turn mobile navigation

November 11, 2007 at 11:15 pm

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Location-based services is one of the most promising mobile fields, and one of the industry leaders, with almost 150 employees, is Telmap. Telmap Navigator is available around the world from over 16 different wireless service providers throughout the United States, Europe, South Africa and the Middle East. We talked with Dave Singer, Telmap’s vice-president and US general manager.

What does Telmap do for mobile users?
Singer: Telmap provides a location-based, turn-by-turn navigation application that runs on most cellular telephones, Blackberry and PDAs providing all of the functionality that customers have come to know and utility in their built-in mobile units. Telmap Navigator provides an application via our partners that is downloaded onto wireless devices and uses GPS to help customers drive, walk, search and share using GPS technology to save time and money as it relates to any type of personal navigation needs.

How is Telmap different from your competitors Networks in Motion and Telenav?
Singer: Telmap has provided a simple customized solution meeting the specific needs of our partner’s customer base. For example, we recently launched Boost Navigator powered by Telmap that customized the look and feel and extends the Boost Mobile look and feel into their Boost Navigator application. As part of our core offering, all customers are able to access our true pedestrian mode as well as our live and predictive traffic.

What advantages do your products have over GPS personal navigation devices (PNDs)?
Singer: Unlike PNDs our application does not require customers to purchase another piece of hardware, another AC charger, another in-vehicle car charger. Our navigator application is a simple one time download and then unlike a separate PND, we maintain our content data base so the information that customers use is always up to date.

How is the US market different for you from the UK market, where you already dominate?
Singer: Actually, we are the market leader and dominate all of Europe. Telmap has been selected as the navigation provider of choice for Vodafone UK, Vodafone Spain, Vodafone Germany, Vodacom South Africa, O2 and many other Tier I providers in Europe. Both the US and European markets are growing rapidly right now, especially as the GSM carriers deploy AGPS in their networks. In addition, in both the United States and Europe, new phones with embedded GPS chip sets are the fastest growing in the market.

Where does your actual mapping data come from?

Singer: Telmap currently partners with Navteq for our mapping data. We also partner with Inrix for our traffic data. All data is updated in the Telmap hosting center at least quarterly if not more frequently.

Does your company history give you a unique perspective on the mobile world?
Singer: Absolutely – Telmap is a 7-year-old company. Our roots are in location based, turn-by-turn mobile navigation so we have been at the forefront of this industry. Since we are a global provider, we are able to see and influence the mobile navigation space and leverage the success our partners have across geography’s. In addition, having our headquarters and R&D facility outside Tel Aviv allows Telmap to leverage the high tech industries in Israel as well as Europe and the United States.

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Entry filed under: dave singer, interview, mobile applications, mobile content, mobile mapping, telmap.

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