SALO, Finland, March 22 /PRNewswire/ -- Benefon Oyj and Genimap Oy, both based in Finland, have today announced that the world's first personal navigation phone Benefon Esc! with GPS-positioning capabilities and mobile maps is now available for test users and developers. The product will be available for consumers in Europe during the spring. The Benefon Esc! GSM+GPS personal navigation phone stores maps in its memory and pinpoints the user's location on the map with the help of a state- of-the art 12-channel GPS navigator. Users can also conveniently exchange location information with services and other users. Navigation functionality includes e.g. waypoints, routes, guide, odometer and NMEA0183 interface. In addition to rich phone and organiser functions, the Benefon Esc! is resistant to spray water and sports a casing reinforced with stainless steel, making it the ideal companion for sailors, bikers, skiers as well as other contemporary nomads in need of directions to friends, special points of interest and services. The Benefon Esc! comes with a complimentary helpdesk service for its users, to help also consumers without prior knowledge about navigation getting started easily. "The Benefon Esc! enables mobile network operators and other service providers for the first time to provide precision location-based services for mobile people, through the open Mobile Phone Telematics Protocol (MPTP) and Mobile Map Service Protocol (MMSP) application interfaces. The Genimap(R) Platform is the ideal vehicle to jump-start service development for Benefon Esc! and other location-enabled devices", says Jukka Nieminen, Director, Product Marketing at Benefon. "Benefon embraces mobile industry standards in present and future products, and wants to contribute to the fast adoption of location services by introducing the open MPTP and MMSP interfaces to the service provider and developer community." Genimap(R) Mobile Maps service provides maps to Benefon Esc! users, who can easily select and download from the Internet service maps they are in need of. The service has been designed to meet the different needs of personal navigation in the city, on the road, on the sea and in the woods and it so includes city maps, road maps, nautical charts and from some selected areas topographical maps as well. The service can be found at www.genimap.com . "Mobile Maps service is based on our location based solution platform called Genimap(R) Platform. Benefon is our first customer whose terminals utilise our service. The service has been built in a way that it can quite soon serve other map storing and handling capable terminals and PDAs", says Mikko Salonen, Director, Internet & Mobile Solutions at Genimap. "One strength of our service is content coverage. We can now provide different map types from almost twenty European countries and coverage will be extended to other areas as well during this year." About Benefon Benefon (www.benefon.com) is a leader in innovative wireless instruments combining navigation and telematics, Mobile Internet and GSM evolution with New Finnish Design. Benefon's mission is to be the wireless instruments partner of choice for providers of specific solutions and services for mobile people. Headquartered in Salo, the wireless industry centre of Finland, Benefon has designed and manufactured wireless terminals for GSM and NMT networks since 1988. Benefon is listed in Helsinki Stock Exchange (HEX). For high-resolution photography of Benefon Esc! and other Benefon wireless instruments, please see www.benefon.com Press section. For more information about MPTP and MMSP, please see www.benefon.com Partners Area. About Genimap Genimap Oy, a leading mapping company in Finland, concentrates on developing location-based solutions for Mobile Information Society. Genimap has set itself the strategic goal of becoming a leading player internationally in mobile location based solutions. The company had pro forma net sales in 2000 of some EUR 11,5 million. Genimap employs more than 100 GIS, mapping and software experts. Genimap Oy is a Finnish subsidiary of SanomaWSOY Group (www.sanomawsoy.fi) and it is also partly owned by MapInfo Corporation (www.mapinfo.com). SanomaWSOY is the leading Nordic publicly listed media corporation whose operations cover most areas of the modern communications industry.
SOURCE Benefon Oyj; Genimap Oy