Nokia says it's making its Ovi Maps satellite navigation application free on compatible smartphones. The new version of Ovi Maps will include turn-by-turn voice guidance for 74 countries with additional traffic information in a number of locations. There'll also be detailed maps for over 180 countries plus free access to Lonely Planet and Michelin travel guides.
Maps can be pre-loaded, enabling navigation to be carried out 'offline' without incurring data charges.
The new version of Ovi Maps is already available to download for ten Nokia handsets; the Nokia N97 mini, Nokia 5800 XpressMusic, Nokia 5800 Navigation Edition, Nokia E52, Nokia E55, Nokia E72, Nokia 5230, Nokia 6710 Navigator, Nokia 6730 classic and Nokia X6. More Nokia smartphones are expected to be added in the coming weeks – and from March 2010, new Nokia GPS-enabled smartphones will be pre-loaded with the new version of Ovi Maps including local map data.
Anssi Vanjoki, Executive Vice President of Nokia, said "We want to make using your mobile for navigation as familiar as using it to send a text or take a picture. We believe that making the best maps with voice guided navigation available for free will be the catalyst to do this."