NAVTEQ Goes Mobile Thanks to Nokia

Announced today in Forbes, Nokia, one of the top cell phone manufacturers plopped down around $8.1 billion to purchase NAVTEQ, parent of The Map Network and a leading digital mapping company in the US.

Perhaps one of best moves I think that was made by cell phone makers, this deal gives NAVTEQ wide access to the cell phone market to help people navigate where they want to go. Not since the introduction of wireless mobile Internet devices, has there been this great of thing. Sure, you have cell phones that can download mp3s, but they won’t help you get to where you want to go, just simply entertain you on your way. There are many GPS devices that probably use NAVTEQ technology, but now Nokia can keep it a little more “in-the-family” with its parent line of products, especially with its great mapping capability.

Imagine looking at a map of Washington, DC that you would see online transported to your cell phone and provide you with driving directions. Instant map, save tree, think green! It’s a great idea, Nokia! Well done…

Did you know that maps are widely searched online and now they’ll be widely used on cell phones. Marketing has definitely run amuck with mobile technology and this is definitely a pay day for the market. In the Forbes article, they list Nokia as having spent nearly $1 billion snagging up other useful companies to integrate into their product line, including: social networking, advertising, music, and gaming.

And just WHY is Nokia that great for snagging a great mapping company?

In a mobile, connected world, maps are becoming a hugely strategic asset. All kinds of burgeoning digital revenue streams are being created on the backs of maps: local search, friend finders, family tracking, location-aware advertising and turn-by-turn navigation. If you control the map, you control the game.

The article is rather lengthy and very well put together, so you should read it here. Nevertheless, there are many things to consider since the services provided by NAVTEQ are highly valued, with its recent purchase of Traffic.com, the mapping company can provide traffic hotspots on its maps and also services many of the US state CVBs and tourism bureaus. Does this change the online spectrum for those of you interested to know? Forbes says no because the other powerhouses that have online maps like Google and MapQuest already have the infrastructure to enhance their product cheaply and should be able to compete.

However, the web should be concerned because Nokia now has a good edge on the mobile marketing industry, one of the leading focus areas of marketing today.

By Ken Yeung

Ken Yeung is a journalist fascinated with the tech industry and internet culture. He's currently Flipboard's Assistant Managing Editor, overseeing news curation in technology, science, gaming and health. In addition to his day job, Ken's the co-host of "The Created Economy" podcast, examining the Creator Economy. In a past life, he was a former reporter for VentureBeat and The Next Web, covering tech startups, the industry's innovations and funding.