Nokia transforms Navteq to create Location & Commerce platform
Nokia (NYSE:NOK) will integrate its Navteq navigation solutions unit with its mobile social networking efforts to create a new Location & Commerce business. Few specifics are known, but Nokia vows the Location & Commerce unit will create both consumer-centric social location products and applications, as well as platform services and local commerce solutions optimized for device manufacturers, software developers, web services providers, merchants and marketers.
In a statement, Nokia CEO Stephen Elop said the company plans to offer Location & Commerce content and services to "partners and customers on a wide variety of devices and operating systems." The company adds it will continue to serve existing Navteq customers.
Nokia named Michael Halbherr executive vice president in charge of the Location & Commerce unit. Tero Ojanpera, who served as the acting head of the Services business, will continue on as executive sponsor of Nokia's Bridge program, instituted to ease employee transitions and target new business opportunities resulting from Nokia's move to embrace Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows Phone as its primary smartphone operating system. Navteq CEO Larry Kaplan will continue to serve with the Location & Commerce unit through year's end.
Reports of the Navteq platform revamp first surfaced in late April. Nokia acquired Navteq for $8.1 billion in late 2007, building out the platform's navigation services with subsequent purchases like 3D urban modeling software developer PixelActive and crowdsourced traffic alert solutions provider Trapster. Navteq maps now span 85 countries and territories on six continents, with approximately 20 million miles of roadway represented in the firm's database.
Earlier this month, Navteq said it will begin delivering its traffic services in the TPEG standard format, promising compressed data delivery, delta updates and proximity-specific content ensuring that users only receive and pay for information that's relevant to them. Short for Transport Protocol Experts Group, TPEG protocols leverage compact, http-based data payloads distributed via 3G, HD and XML formats as well as other broadcast and connected communications methods to essentially deliver more data while concurrently slashing file sizes and costs.
In related Nokia news, the company finalized an agreement to transfer its Symbian software activities as well as about 2,800 employees to management consulting and technology services firm Accenture. Per terms of the deal, first announced in April, Accenture will provide Symbian-based software development and support services to Nokia through 2016.
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