Sina Tech, 11/26/07
China Mobile's (NYSE: CHL; 0941.HK) trials of a GPS mobile navigation service may be officially promoted as of 2008. Users of phones with GPS or AGPS modules are currently able to log on to China Mobile's Monternet site to download GPS software, which can be used immediately. The software provides voice alerts, directions and local search. According to a China Mobile official, use of the software, developed in-house, costs RMB 15 a month, or RMB 2 per use. GPRS costs incurred during use are not included.
According to another China Mobile source the service has not attracted many users due to a lack of promotion, and the fact that it is not free. News of the release on the Monternet site attracted only 41 comments. The service was launched in October 2006 and started to charge for use one month later. Since then functionality and maps have been improved, and promotion of the service may start in 2008.
Since 2005 China Mobile has provided location based services using base station triangulation, but it is not as accurate as GPS.
According to an informed source, Korean operator SK Telecom, which has long operated in-vehicle navigation systems in Chejudo, has purchased a Chinese GPS firm.