Based: Sunnyvale, CA
Why It's Fierce: 2007 looks to be the breakout year for location-based services as carriers are finally getting aggressive about commercial offerings. A perfect storm of factors have come together to make LBS take off: relatively inexpensive mobile handsets now leverage embedded assisted GPS technology that is delivered on high-speed data networks capable of retrieving complex information such as maps. TeleNav, whose long list of carrier and technical partners include AT&T, Sprint Nextel, Nokia and RIM, has a number of firsts under its belt: the first to launch a GPS navigation system on a mobile phone, the first to launch 3D maps and the first to offer intelligent traffic and one-click rerouting. Other innovative features include the ability to search for more than 10 million points of interest along a specified route, voice and on-screen turn-by-turn directions and speech recognition technology to avoid keying in information.
What To Look For: Expect TeleNav to continue pushing the envelope on LBS capabilities and to expand internationally.