It seems that satnav makers are feeling a little heat as smartphone manufacturers continue to give away satnavs on their devices.
One such vendor of paid-for satnavs, Garmin reckons that true cost of a free satnav is about 20p per mile.
The vendor carried out a test trip from Calais to Paris using Google Maps on an HTC smartphone. The journey clocked up 185 miles and used 13MB of data costing £3 per MB. This worked out to come to 20p per mile travelled using the free satnav on a phone.
“Using free satellite navigation isn’t as free as it would like to make out, especially when you are using your mobile phone abroad,” said Garmin’s Head of Communications, Anthony Chmarny. “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.”
The problem could be compounded as theEU’s new roaming data limits could cap roaming fees to 50 euros (£40), possibly cutting off data in mid-trip.