EL SEGUNDO, CA—Because of strong demand for navigation services from
Chinese consumers, manufacturers in the nation are developing handsets supporting the Global Positioning System (GPS). Meanwhile, wireless service operators see navigation as a key value-added service that can help offset their declining Average Revenue Per User (ARPU).

With falling Average Selling Prices (ASPs) for GPS handsets, domestic GPS handset shipments will rise to 16.5 million units in 2011, more than 10 times the 1.4 million in 2007, iSuppli Corp. predicts (see figure).

Both China Mobile and China Unicom began to provide navigation services this year. The two operators have partnered with digital-mapping, handset, and chip-set suppliers to bring GPS to the mobile market. In contrast to dedicated Personal Navigation Devices (PNDs), GPS handsets receive mapping data through wireless networks to provide navigation. Therefore, GPSenabled handsets do not need to embed mapping data-only free GPS navigation software. At present, the typical monthly fee for mobile navigation services is $2.50 per subscriber with 5 MB of data throughput included.

For additional information, see www.isuppli.com