Monday, July 7, 2008
The world is humming the GPS tunes and it has ensured that the probability of one getting lost is minimum. Every new gadget released nowadays is endowed with a piece of this technology. Companies like Nokia have realized the importance of this and have come up with a series of navigation phones making use of Nokia maps.
The idea of incorporating maps in a mobile phone to assist in navigation is glamorous but there is a demand to develop the underlying infrastructure here in a city like Chennai. There are certain issues to be settled before we can reap the benefits of navigation. Nokia maps can be downloaded free of cost from the nokia website and every map is nearly 2.5MB in size. The biggest drawback in using them is that they can be accessed only through GPRS and the cost of subscribing to GPRS facility may not be affordable to everyone. Every service provider looks at this as an opportunity to make more money. Adding to this the bandwidth offered by mobile service providers is very limited in the 800-1500MHz range which may not allow fast internet access unlike foreign countries which provide services in the 3.2GHz band. Users also complain that they could not receive incoming calls while they are using the navigation system. Another flaw in this is the voice recognition system which Nokia is working on for adapting to the Indian way of pronunciation.
On the brighter side the nokia maps have a handful of information about hotels, ATMs, hospitals, petrol bunks, etc... Things can only get better from here. But at the moment navigation is an expensive venture to a normal citizen here in Chennai.