According to a new research report by the analyst firm Berg Insight, the number of mobile subscribers downloading navigation routes and turn-by-turn navigation instructions using their mobile handsets increased twofold from H1-2008 to H1-2009, and reached 28 million.
Until 2015, the subscriber base is forecasted to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 33.7 percent to reach 160 million users worldwide. The growing adoption will primarily be driven by the broader availability of GPS-enabled handsets and bundling of navigation applications with mobile devices and service plans.
In countries such as the USA and Japan where mass market GPS handsets are already available, adoption of mobile navigation services have already surpassed 3% and 4% of the total mobile subscriber base respectively.
More recently, increasing volumes of GPS handsets have also started to pave the way for adoption of mobile navigation services in Europe where personal navigation devices (PNDs) have been the prevailing navigation solution for some years.
In other regions of the world, better availability of low cost GPS handsets and improving map coverage will enable rapid uptake of navigation services in the coming years.
“Mobile operators and handset vendors are now starting to experience the business opportunity of a growing installed base of GPS handsets and customers trying navigation services”, said André Malm, senior analyst, Berg Insight.
He added that since relatively few subscribers need turn-by-turn navigation services on a daily basis, the mobile industry should integrate navigation services with other location based services to improve the total user experience and ensure that customers continue to subscribe.