The added service will offer turn-by-turn navigation in three languages, as well as offer a business locator.

Marin Perez, Contributor

July 22, 2008

2 Min Read

AT&T announced Tuesday it will expand its GPS-based navigation services to provide directions beyond the shores of the United States.

The service, AT&T Navigator Global Edition, will let customers with GPS-capable smartphones receive turn-by-turn directions in 20 countries. While companies like Verizon Wireless and Sprint have their own navigation products, AT&T is the only U.S. mobile operator to provide international navigation capabilities.

"AT&T not only gives customers the ability to use their mobile phones in more countries than any other U.S. carrier, they now can use our robust GPS-based navigation offering whether at home or abroad to easily get from point A to point B or to find and get directed to a local business or service," said Jeff Bradley, senior VP of AT&T's mobility marketing and operations division, in a statement.

The new coverage area will include most countries in Western Europe, North America, and the U.S. Caribbean as well as six cities in China. Users will be able to be able to get spoken turn-by-turn directions in three languages

Additionally, subscribers will be able to click a button to search for and discover nearby businesses and services, including hotels, ATMs, and gas stations. The service, including domestic navigation, will cost $19.98 per month, and it's available on select smartphones like the BlackBerry Pearl, and the BlackBerry Curve.

As more cell phones sport built-in GPS chips, wireless operators and handset manufacturers are increasingly offering data-heavy navigation services. Nokia has almost wrapped up its acquisition of Navteq, paving the way for the Finnish company to offer navigation services as well.

To counter this upsurge in competition, Garmin will be throwing its hat into the mobile phone ring later this year with the Nuvifone.

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