December 17, 2005

NAVTEQ signs deal to license Australian map data

Posted in Articles at 11:41 pm by siddey

Navteq have signed an agreement with PSMA Australia Ltd that will give the Chicago based company access to the quasi-Government organisation’s high quality Australia-wide map data. This agreement will facilitate the release of Navteq’s first Australian based navigation product.

Now that we are seeing large international players coming onto the Australian mapping scene, one could think that the next evolution will be for Navteq to leverage their existing relationship with Google in the United States to finally bring open-access LBS Downunder. Arguably, this seems to tie in very well with recent reports of increasing local development on Google Maps technology at their Sydney headquarters.

At this point in time, if I were a senior executive within Telstra’s Sensis division, I should be very nervous about such a deal weakening my company’s ability to dominate the Australian LBS market and to capitalise on my own in-house mapping IP. If Sensis’ operating costs are high and margins are low, Navteq could undermine the very closed strategies of Australia’s largest Telco by opening up an LBS platform to the local application development community.

My main doubt is whether Navteq had sufficient capacity to include possible alternative revenue models in their licensing agreement with PSMA Australia. PSMA’s basic dataset and per-unit royalty charges would not allow for a delivery mechanism such as Google Maps general non-commercial access. That is, unless the revenue derived from that service could in some way translate into a per-consumer charge for which PSMA can receive a royalty. I assume they would also create a commercial access license similar to what is available through negotiation with Google in the United States. If commercial pricing is attractive to smaller LBS application development businesses, this would certainly look like a winning combination.

I will remain hopeful. If this does all eventuate, let’s just hope that the pricing doesn’t send us back to Telstra cap in hand.

Navteq + PSMA + Google Maps could very well see Australian LBS come of age.

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2 Comments »

  1. geo999 said,

    Todd

    This is the best news I’ve heard in a long while

    Getting PSMA coverage out on LBS platforms will be terrific

    The SENSIS UBD – WhereIs coverage is useless once you are out of the capital cities

    This will give Sol some heartburn — It was only a few weeks ago he was giving SENSIS heaps of praise and putting the big G down with his Google Schmoogle comments

    This is one deal to follow closely

  2. Todd said,

    Hi,

    I agree. Let’s hope it does all turn out as we want it to.

    Todd.


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