Vodafone Snags Wayfinder

7:20 AM -- Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD) will splash out SEK239 million (US$30 million) to buy Swedish location-based services specialist Wayfinder Systems AB , the operator announced today. (See Vodafone to Buy Wayfinder.)

Mobile data is one of Vodafone's key growth areas, and the operator thinks location-based services will play a part in that. Vodafone, like other operators, has room to expand mobile data service revenues. Mobile data services accounted for just 7 percent of Vodafone's overall revenue in the six-month period ended September 31 this year. (See Vodafone Adjusts to Hard Times and Carrier Scorecard: Vodafone.)

Wayfinder's services are available in 19 languages and have more than 2 million users. Vodafone says it will use Wayfinder's technology to develop new "location-aware services."

“The Wayfinder software enables mobile phones to display user-friendly maps as well as deliver voice directions to drivers in the same way as dedicated navigation devices," said Pieter Knook, Internet services director of Vodafone Group, in a press statement. "We believe our customers will greatly value being able to get accurate voice directions from their mobiles."

— Michelle Donegan, European Editor, Unstrung

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