SOUTHAMPTON, England--()--Garmin, global leaders in satellite navigation**, today revealed the cost of using “free” satellite navigation on your mobile phone abroad. Users can rack up a phone bill more expensive than the cost of their fuel used for the journey.
The company found that using one of the most well known turn-by-turn navigation services on a mobile phone generated a bill of £36 in data roaming charges for a journey from Calais to Paris – some 185 miles - meaning a cost for navigation alone of over 20 pence per mile.
Garmin’s Head of Communications, Anthony Chmarny said: “Using free satellite navigation isn’t as free as it would like to make out, especially when you are using your mobile phone abroad. Many of the well known navigation products use the mobile phone network to download maps as they go, meaning people could end up with a nasty shock when their mobile phone bills arrive – the costs could be double that of the fuel used for the journey they were navigating.
“We tested the route from Calais to Paris four times and each time it came up with the same results: between 12-13 megabytes of data per journey. On a pay as you go mobile phone this meant £36 to £39 to get from Calais to Paris – some 185 miles on a contract plan the cost is a little less, but still equates to £24 to £26 per single journey.”
The European Union has confirmed that from 1st July 2010, users will be able to use €50 of data whilst abroad before being cut off (unless they request otherwise). Chmarny added “For someone using so called “free” navigation abroad this could leave them in the absurd position that they get half way through a journey and no longer have access to navigation to complete it.”
“We are encouraging anyone driving abroad this year on holiday to be aware of the costs. Sometimes it can be difficult to tell whether a mobile phone application has maps included or if it relies on the mobile network to download maps, which can lead to huge mobile bills. All Garmin’s nüvi range of sat navs and Garmin Asus Smartphone’s have on-board mapping*** and do not need to download data information, so users know that when it comes to navigation there are no hidden costs of using their Garmin device abroad.”
The Garmin range of sat navs start from as little as £89.99 and most models come with lifetime traffic and speed camera databases.
The top 10 travel destinations in France (according to Travelerinc.com) along with the cost of using satellite navigation on a mobile for a return journey from Calais if maps are downloaded over the mobile network (based on 20 pence per megabyte):
1. Paris, 185 miles, £74
2. Avignon, 614 miles, £245.60
3. Saint-Tropez, 730 miles, £292
4. Grenoble, 540 miles, £216
5. Marseille, 667 miles, £266.80
6. Lyon, 474 miles, £189.60
7. Cannes, 747 miles, £298.80
8. Bordeaux, 540 miles, £216
9. Valence, 539 miles, £215.60
10. Saint-Etienne, 510 miles, £204
*Journeys carried out from 19-22nd June 2010 using an Android mobile phone with an O2 UK pay as you go SIM card and an O2 UK data plan. - Navigation service used was Google Maps Navigation - All other data services disabled for the journey - The test journeys did not include any speed camera data or traffic data charges - Different operators charge different costs for data roaming so overall charging example may differ.
**According to Canalys report for sat nav sales made in 2009
*** Depending on specific nüvi models
The global leader in satellite navigation, Garmin Ltd. and its subsidiaries have designed, manufactured, marketed and sold navigation, communication and information devices and applications since 1989 – most of which are enabled by GPS technology. Garmin’s products serve automotive, mobile, wireless, outdoor recreation, marine, aviation, and OEM applications. Garmin Ltd. is incorporated in the Cayman Islands, and its principal subsidiaries are located in the United States, Taiwan and the United Kingdom. For more information visit Garmin's media centre at www.garmin.com/garmin/cms/site/uk/press . Garmin is a registered trademark of Garmin Ltd. or its subsidiaries. All other brands, product names, company names, trademarks and service marks are the properties of their respective owners. All rights reserved.
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