If you’ve done a lot of traveling, then you’ve probably heard about Cell Phone GPS. If you’re unfamiliar with it, then let me give you some basic info. GPS or Global Positioning System is tool for navigation and precise-positioning that was first developed for national defense purposes. It was developed to help soldiers, military vehicles, ships and planes in determining their locations accurately.
As the use of mobile GPS became widespread, businesses noticed its commercial potential and began to develop it as a profitable navigational tool. Cell phone gps locator became popular as a car navigation tool and products from GPS companies like Garmin and TomTom have become household names. The usual GPS car navigation device offers features like automatic routing, voice-guided navigation, and route re-calculating to help users find their location and reach their intended destination.
However, the tragic events of 11 September 2001 increased demand for enhanced 911 emergency calling capabilities which in turn pushed the integration tracking technology into mobile phone gps tracking. In response to the terrorist attack, the FCC required all mobile phone carriers to provide the ability to trace cell phone calls to a location within 100 meters or less. Mobile phone carriers realized that integrating GPS technology into cell phone handsets was the most efficient method of complying with FCC requirements.
Let look at how the major mobile phone carriers integrated GPS navigation into their services and cell phones.
AT&T offers the Navigator service that provides spoken turn by turn GPS driving directions. It also provides automatic reroute, full color maps, and real time traffic alerts all on cell phone GPS tracking enabled devices. AT&T offers a free 30-day trial to their customers.
Here are some of AT&T’s Free Cell Phone GPS Tracking enabled devices:
* 3G iPhone
* Blackberry 8820
* Motorola Moto Q Global
* Motorola Moto Z9
* HTC Tilt
* Blackberry Pearl 8120
* Blackberry Curve 8310
Sprint offers two mobile phone cell phone GPS services, the Sprint navigation and Sprint Family Locator. Sprint Navigation offers detailed maps, driving directions, one-click rerouting and traffic alerts on select phones. On the other hand, Sprint Family Locator offers a convenient, reliable and secure method of locating family members from any web enabled mobile phone.
Here are some of Sprint’s GPS enabled mobile phones:
* HTC Touch
* LG Rumor
* Motorola i920
* Samsung Instinct
* Blackberry Curve 8330
* Sanyo Pro 700
* HTC Mogul
* Palm Treo 755p
Verizon offers the VZ Navigator GPS service that offers advanced navigation features. VZ Navigator offers subscribers detailed color maps that can be quickly panned and zoomed, prompted turn-by-turn directions with auto-rerouting, and local search of 14 million points of interest.
Here are some of Verizon Wireless GPS enabled phones:
* Samsung Juke
* HTC XV6900
* Palm Treo 700wx
* Samsung Glyde
* LG Decoy
* LG Voyager
* LG enV2
T-Mobile offers the NaviGate BlueKit that uses Bluetooth and GPS satellite technology to allow customers to transform their mobile phones into car navigation systems. This service offers route instructions and near real-time traffic updates, with route alternatives.
Here are some of T-Mobile’s GPS enabled phones:
* Blackberry 8820
* Blackberry 8120
* Nokia 6650
Understandably, GPS companies are threatened by the growing popularity of free cell phone GPS tracking enabled mobile phones and navigation services offered by mobile phone carriers. Many customers prefer GPS enabled handsets because of its cheaper price. Let’s face it; no one wants to pay around $400 on a standalone GPS navigation system when they can get it on their mobile phone. To counter the threat offered by cell phones that offer GPS, some car GPS companies have proceeded to manufacture their own mobile GPS phone.
Garmin, one of the top car GPS manufacturers, impressed many mobile phone experts when they unveiled the Garmin Nuvifone. Not only did Garmin produce a GPS centric mobile phone, the company also developed a device that can compete with the top mobile phones in the market. The Nuvifone is an all-in-one, sleek and slim, touch screen device that combines a premium phone, mobile web-browser, and a cutting-edge personal navigator. This Garmin GPS mobile phone also works with an online service that offers constantly updated information such as real-time traffic, fuel prices, stock prices, sports scores, news reports, local events and weather forecasts.
The increasing numbers of GPS enabled mobile devices indicate that customers find the service desirable. In fact, a forecast from Parks Associates predicts that global shipments of GPS-enabled mobile devices will grow at 40% per year for the next five years. Experts expect that more than 834 million units will be shipped in in 2012 and that GPS will become a standard feature offered by mobile phones.
There are also some GPS solutions for people who do not own smartphones. Mobile phone carriers have taken advantage of the increasing value of GPS functionality so they are now offering some kind of location-based service. For instance, AT&T and T-Mobile subscribers can get GPS service from TeleNav GPS Navigator. Verizon Wireless also offers GPS services from VZ Navigator on handsets like the Motorola Razor V3m. Outdoor enthusiasts subscribing to Sprint can get the Trimble GPS Pack.
These GPS services provide customers with color maps and turn-by-turn driving directions. Customers can also search for local businesses and even use their GPS equipped phones to get traffic updates. These services charge a subscription fee to customers who want to benefit from the GPS information. Similar features can also be acquired by downloading Google Maps for Mobile to cell phones or smart phones. There are no charges for the download, but customers have to sign up for a data plan to get the airtime needed to retrieve maps, and traffic information with cell phone gps.