Vodafone’s new purchase

So Vodafone have purchased Wayfinder. Wayfinder are a Swedish navigational software company. This is definitely an interesting purchase. The future of Telecommunications it’s about what services you can offer customers while ensuring you deliver basics well.

So the question I have for Vodafone is why purchase Wayfinder? I’m not saying it was a bad decision I just think the whole discussion around whether you host something yourself or get someone else to host it for you? In this day and age of navigational software Nokia maps and Google maps are probably the biggest leaders. I wonder whether it would make more sense to leverage off their branding and experience to deliver map services to your customers?

I’m no expert in navigational software however with the recent closure of smaps.co.nz I wonder whether keeping the maps up to date could be an enormous task and sometimes it is better to pay others for the horrible task of keeping that data up to date then actually doing it yourself. On a side note in this day and age you can negotiate with 3rd parties quite a bit and can probably get a price considerably below what it would cost you to do it yourself.

With the purchase of Wayfinder I wonder whether Vodafone will be removing Nokia maps from the firmware for Nokia handsets they bring in once their product is ready?

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One thought on “Vodafone’s new purchase

  1. Usually the question of whether you use someone else or buy your own solution comes down to customisation. If you require a high degree of customisation, you may benefit from owning your own solution. Mobile service suffers from the large number of dis-similar devices available. This makes applications that are extremely dependent on clear displays (like maps) a nightmare to code for a large number of handsets. It could be that VF thought Wayfinder had some innovation in this area.

    The next thing I’d look at is what products they intend to sell with a location based service. We tend to fixate on Directions and Maps because they are recently flash and obviously useful, but the potential of LBS is probably barely tapped. We may yet see a whole new class of services pop up that leverage LBS in new ways. Sometimes a new product is surprising.

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