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Thursday, September 07, 2006

Mobile Earth

Vodafone Germany have launched Mobile Earth which is a mapping product from LocatioNet with data provided by TeleAtlas who also provide the data for the TomTom and Google Maps service. There is a demo online available and the product looks remarkably like the Google Maps service.

Personally, I feel this is a good start for Vodafone, but Mobile Earth must be linked to Location Based Services to be really useful. For instance if I was using a laptop on the road with connection provided via. HSDPA I would almost certainly use the Google maps service, however if the Vodafone Mobile Earth knew automatically where I was and could provide directions or locate the nearest shop etc, I would prefer that service.

I suppose the point I am trying to make is that it is one thing to copy the same service as someone else, but to get people to churn you need to offer a better/faster/cheaper service. I'm not sure whether Vodafone have missed the boat here and need to fight hard to regain lost momentum.