13 October 2006: Nokia completed its acquisition of navigation software company gate5 AG on October 12, just a week after licensing hundreds of navigation patents from Trimble Navigation. gate5 will become part of Nokia’s multimedia business group, and continue to be based in Berlin.
Nokia announced its intent to acquire gate5 in August and uses software from the company in the N95, the new smartphone Nokia introduced in late September that includes GPS and mapping applications.
The gate5 acquisition joins another Nokia foray into the navigation market. Nokia has also licensed 700 patents from Trimble and also acquired the exclusive right to sublicense the patents to other vendors.
The gate5 and Trimble activities appear to fall in line with a new strategy at Nokia to try to own or control new technologies that are integrated into mobile phones. At a recent event, Nokia pointed to the fact that once it began integrating cameras into mobile phones, the handset maker quickly became the largest vendor of digital cameras. Yet traditional camera makers hold the majority of patents for digital cameras so Nokia must pay to license the relevant patents. “We need to be conscious of the cost of integrating these technologies,” said Ulla James, Director of Intellectual Property Rights and Strategic Marketing, Nokia, during the event in Helsinki.
She suggested that the next new cell phone function that will become popular is location based services. With the Trimble and gate5 deals, Nokia is in a better position to capitalize on the trend.
Nokia plans to continue to support multiple platforms for gate5 products, including Symbian, Linux, Windows Mobile and Palm, pointing to another unique strategy for the company. Nokia also said on that it has opened a sales unit for location-based services in Hong Kong, targeting customers in Asia-Pacific.
Nokia is the world leader in mobile communications, driving the growth and sustainability of the broader mobility industry. Nokia connects people to each other and the information that matters to them with easy-to-use and innovative products like mobile phones, devices and solutions for imaging, games, media and businesses. Nokia provides equipment, solutions and services for network operators and corporations.
Headquartered in Berlin, gate5 AG is a supplier of software and services for location-based information on mobile devices. gate5 AG combines expertise in the fields of real-time mapping, route planning, content management and personal navigation. gate5 AG operates two business units: a mobile phone and a PND division.