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Airtel launches GPS navigation services

The navigation service is available free of charge to BlackBerry 8800 users for six months

Bharti Airtel has launched GPS-based (global positioning system) services that help in navigation through mobile phones. This is the first such service launched by an Indian operator, and for it, Airtel has collaborated with Wayfinder Systems AP, a Sweden-based firm that makes maps, directions and GPS navigation services accessible on mobile phones. The application will be available on the BlackBerry 8800 as of now.

Airtel subscribers with compatible handsets will be able to access maps and area coverage details of cities such as Delhi and NCR, Bangalore, Mumbai and Navi Mumbai, Thane, Pune, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Chandigarh. Airtel will also provide its users with an option to purchase the map information and area coverage details of Europe and North America on The service is made available via the wireless network, using EDGE/GPRS.

Airtel launches GPS navigation services
BlackBerry 8800 users are being offered free trial of the service for six months, during which period the subscriber will not have to pay any subscription charges except for data downloads.

The company has experimented earlier with a GPS service. In July 2003, Airtel had launched a global positioning system for corporate customers, called the ‘vehicle tracking solution’. This enabled a company to monitor the location of its stock in transit. Each vehicle was mounted with an Airtel mobile or a Global Positioning System box and a vehicle tracking-enabled SIM card.