Nokia Oyj has agreed to grant Oracle Corp’s customers access to its mapping products, as the wireless phone company attempts to expand its location services business.
The Finnish company, which bought the world’s largest digital mapping firm, Navteq, in 2008, has been looking for ways to boost the business and recently signed mapping deals with Groupon Inc and Amazon.Com Inc.
In stark contrast with Nokia’s troubled mobile phone operation, sales at the location business grew last quarter, though it still generates only 4 percent of group revenue.
Oracle has developed a link between its own software and the Nokia Location Platform software, Nokia said on Monday. This enables the U.S. company’s business users to access the mapping services through its products.
Financial details of the deal were not disclosed, but Nokia said Oracle users would license Location Platform from Nokia for use in Oracle applications.
“Nokia has been on a mission for the last 18 months to sign mapping and location deals with large internet players. The deal with Oracle extends this,” CCS Insight analyst Martin Garner said.
Last week Apple publicly apologized after customer complaints about errors in its maps, which have been put on its latest phone operating system instead of Google Inc’s mapping service.
China began quest to end its dependence on the U.S. global positioning system in 2000, when it sent an experimental pair of positioning satellites into orbit.
Ran Chengqi, spokesman for the new system, told reporters that Beidou, or “Big Dipper,” would cover most parts of the Asia Pacific by next year and then the world by 2020.
China has already launched 10 satellites to support Beidou and would launch another six next year, he said.
State media have said the system will eventually comprise 35 satellites, which will be used for a variety of sectors including fisheries, meteorology and telecommunications.
China has ambitious plans for space, including a space station and a manned trip to the moon.
While China has vowed never to militarize space, experts say it is ramping up the military use of space with new satellites.
The successful missile “kill” of an old satellite in early 2007 represented a new level of ability for the Chinese military, and last year China successfully tested emerging technology aimed at destroying missiles in mid-air.
OnStar, known for connecting drivers to live operators who can provide directions or send emergency help after an accident, starting in December plans to collect data from people who discontinue the service unless they specifically ask for the connection to be ended.
Among the details that would still be collected are speed, location and other data from global positioning system satellites, raising potential concerns from privacy advocates.
The data collected may be shared with or sold to third parties for any purpose after identifying tags are removed, the OnStar policy states. Such uses might include research into public safety or traffic services, according to the policy.
“We have never sold any personally identifiable information to any third party,” Joanne Finnorn, vice president for subscriber services at OnStar, said in a statement.
GM started notifying customers by email at the end of last week that it would make the changes to its privacy policies for OnStar, which is a subscription service that costs $19 or $29 per month, OnStar spokesman Adam Denison said.