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The use of mobile mapping and direction services across Europe increased 68% between February 2009 and February 2010, according to comScore MobiLens data.

UK Leads Mobile Mapping/Directional Service Use
In total, there were an average of 21.1 million users of mobile mapping and directional services in the EU5 nations of the UK, Germany, Spain, France and Italy in the three months leading to February 2010. This was a 68% increase from an average of 12.5 million EU5 mobile mapping and directional services users in the three months leading to February 2009.

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The highest growth among EU5 countries was seen in the UK market, with an 86% increase from 3.1 to 5.7 million users. Italy remains the second-largest market for mobile mapping and direction services with 4.9 million users, but has experienced the least growth (53%), compared to a year ago. Germany ranked third with 3.9 million mobile map users (71% growth), followed by France (3.5 million users, 55% growth) and Spain (3.2 million users, 53% growth).

Most Mobile Map Users are in Vehicles
Among those who accessed maps via their mobile devices for the three-month period ending February 2010, most (68.2%) accessed those services in a car or other vehicle. Another 35.3% of the total users accessed the services while using public transportation; and 27% did so while walking, running or cycling.

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Mobile subscribers using handsets with advanced positioning technology, known as assisted GPS (A-GPS), are more than eight percentage points more likely (71.7%) to use maps in a vehicle than those without A-GPS (63.9%). The largest difference can be seen among those who use map and direction services on public transportation, with 41.5% of A-GPS users have accessed the services compared to 28% of non-A-GPS users.

The higher incidence of A-GPS usage in cars suggests that the superior speed and precision in these devices are being used for more than just identifying locations, according to comScore analysis. Rather, in-vehicle usage data indicates they are being used as full in-car navigation systems.

UK Leads EU5 Smartphone Adoption
In addition to having the largest annual growth in mobile mapping and directional services, he UK market leads the EU5 in growth of smartphone adoption during the past year, growing 70% to more than 11 million subscribers, according to other comScore MobiLens data.

France ranks second in growth with the number of smartphone subscribers up 48%, from 4.8 million to 7 million. Meanwhile, Italy boasts the largest number of smartphone subscribers overall (15 million) but showed the softest growth in this market at 11%.

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