The number of Global Positioning System (GPS) users is projected to increase 50% by 2014 and most of this growth will take place in the Asia Pacific.
Inspired with the very projection, TPL Trakker – a subsidiary of TPL Holdings – launched TrakkerNav, a navigation solution for Pakistan, here on Tuesday.
The new product, a joint initiative of Pakistan’s TPL Trakker and South Africa’s Digicore, will provide users with the most comprehensive and detailed map of Pakistan, say officials.
“From a small pan shop at PIDC to the remotest wedding lawn in the city, TrakkerNav will get you everywhere,” CEO of TPL Direct Insurance, another subsidiary of TPL Holdings, Saad Nisar said.
He said about 61 million people are using in-car or personal navigation devices globally, adding this number is projected to cross 91 million by the end of 2014.
There are hardly 400 people in Pakistan using such services, Nisar said, so there is a huge potential for growth.
TrakkerNav, which officials say will mark the start of a new era for road navigation technology in Pakistan, will cover more than 100 cities and major highways. The database also has 800,000 points of interest and will enable house address-based search in all major cities with 3D landmarks.
Sygic, a renowned navigation software provider in Europe serving six million users in 44 countries, is TPL Trakker’s navigation software partner for the product.
Since its soft launch in May 2011, the product has been running in English for in-car devices, portable navigation devices and downloadable applications for iPhone and Android-powered phones and devices. The Urdu version will be launched in three months, Executive Director of TPL Trakker, Ahsan Sarwar, said.
“By 2013, we would like to map every town and city in the country; launch the app in regional languages and add live traffic feeds to the device,” Sarwar said and added they also plan to launch connected navigation for real-time updates by 2013. Sarwar said the product will be available by February 5. Though the cost has not been finalised yet, it will be around Rs12,000. It is a licensed product with unlimited access – a onetime buy, he said.
Speaking on the occasion, TPL Holdings CEO Ali Jameel said there is nothing better than a company like Apple endorsing the product.
For the overall Pakistani downloads from Apple’s app store on January 23, Jameel said, TrakkerNav downloads were higher than that of Angry Birds, a frequently downloaded app.
He said their app remained number one for three weeks on top charts for iPhone apps grossing 8,000-10,000 downloads.
TPL Holdings also announced that it will soon launch two more companies, which are Financial Services and Centre Point.
Ali Jameel hinted that they have found a niche market for the product and the real bread and butter of the company is the insurance and security vehicle tracking services they offer.
“It’s a high-end value-added product,” said security analyst Norbert Almeida who tested the device before it hit the markets.
“I think this will work better for long runs and would work even better upcountry in Punjab where people travel frequently from city to city,” he said.
“It can be of greater use to authorities and I could see tourists using it. It can also be used in reporting crime and by the media to map out crime,” said Almeida.
Trakker Product Manager Mohamed Owais said, “We have people from the armed forces and authorities who have used it personally and have great feedback and we think that working with security authorities would be very lucrative but we don’t have any official agreements at the moment.”
The company claims to have a record of recovering 92 per cent of stolen vehicles fitted with their tracking devices.
In the past, thieves have managed to disable the system with jammers, but now Trakker says they have anti-jammers in the device and if someone tries to remove the device a tampering alert is sent and the car is immediately immobilised.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 25th, 2012.