MobiMate, a wireless application service provider, on Friday rolled out a free mobile travel application for on-the-go businesspeople with Windows Mobile-based smartphones.
MobiMate said it's using a "freemium" business model that allows the company to offer worldwide subscribers the ability to download its travel application, called WorldMate, for free from a variety of mobile devices. The company unveiled its new business model at the CTIA Wireless 2007 conference in March, saying that it would power the next-generation of mobile travel services.
"We now believe that the time has come for this industry to adopt Internet practices, providing services for free and charging only for premium services," said Ian Berman, MobiMate's VP of business development, in a past statement.
The travel app is designed for smartphones that use the Windows Mobile Professional Pocket PC version. Its features include itinerary viewer, global weather forecast, world clocks, a clothing size and measurement converter, a world day and night map, and a tip and tax calculator.
Earlier this year, the company rolled out a free version of WorldMate to business travelers with Symbian UIQ 3.x and Windows Mobile Standard smartphones.
Additionally, MobiMate offers professional premium services, which require a paid subscription of $6.95 a month or $74.95 a year. Those services come with more advanced features such as real-time flight status, flight schedules, packing list, animated satellite weather imagery, and a global dialing code guide. Recognizing the fact that smartphone users often travel overseas, the major U.S. wireless carriers also have rolled out their own versions of travel apps. In some cases, the carriers offer features such as currency converters already built into phones.
Even Apple's iPhone now supports a variety of Web applications that include converters, tip and tax calculators, flight information and itineraries, traffic reports, world clocks, and detailed weather forecasts.