AT&T exec: big year ahead for mobile GPS

Updated: Oct 24, 2007 2:12 PM UTC

Mobile phone services that offer directions and other location-based services will be huge in 2008, says Mark Collins, vice president of consumer data services for AT&T (T).

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Collins sat down with Fortune at the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association show in San Francisco. He says that AT&T is finishing up network upgrades that will allow the company to launch location-based services in the first quarter of 2008. Collins says he expects his major U.S. competitors, including Verizon Wireless (VZ), Sprint (S) and T-Mobile (DT), to amp up their mapping-related offerings as well.

"We do think that this is a very big idea," Collins says, "the idea of having my own personal points of interest, and having the ability to navigate whether I'm in a new city or in my own town."

While showing off a GPS-equipped BlackBerry from Research in Motion (RIMM), Collins also suggested that cell phone-based services will eventually render in-car navigation systems obsolete.

To hear the full interview, click below for the audio.

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