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Nokia Focuses on Location, Mapping for Growth

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After having launched its 3D mapping campaign through Ovi Maps at the Where 2.0 conference in Santa Clara, CA, Nokia may be looking at an even larger re-organization campaign to deliver value to users through location services an apps. Nokia will be bridging its mobile phone business together with Navteq, which it had acquired, and Microsoft’s Bing mapping services according to a leaked internal memo that Phonescoop was able to obtain.

The three foundational elements behind this change are being made to support the following: new social-location applications, services, and developer experiences that engage a large user-base to build a winning brand and ecosystem together with Microsoft; high-value location content enabling differentiated experiences; and high-value advertising network monetizing the ecosystem by providing local commerce services for brands and merchants.

The changes will go into effect on May 1st, according to the document, where Nokia will consolidate its mapping and location teams into a single business unit. The teams there will mostly fall under the mobile division, which highlights Nokia’s commitment to Ovi Maps for its smartphones–the company provides free turn-by-turn GPS guidance via Ovi Maps on all of its smartphones.

Further, Nokia and Navteq will not only be targeting Nokia devices and the Windows Phone platform, but will also “focus on horizontal services that target Nokia devices, and beyond Nokia devices, including the ongoing availability of Navteq data to all its B2B partners.”

Nokia has also made a strong commitment to near field communications, or NFC, technologies in the past and it’s unclear if location-based services and NFC technology will merge together at some point with Nokia’s new strategy on mapping and commerce. Rival Google, which provides mapping services through Google Maps and also provides voice-guided navigation through Google Maps with Navigation on Android devices, is also a big player in the NFC market. The company is rumored to be working on its own Groupon competitor and will be integrating check-ins via NFC badges.

Tech enthusiast in Silicon Valley enjoying the possibilities of ubiquitous connectivity, information sharing, and collaboration enabled by mobile broadband. You can contact Chuong on Twitter @chuongvision or search +chuongvision on Google+.

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