Can Nokia Take On Google and Apple Maps?

The new Nokia 920 smartphone is seen in this undated handout photo made available to the media on Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2012. Nokia Oyj unveiled two smartphones using Microsoft Corp.'s new Windows Phone software, betting on the devices to win back sales lost to the iPhone and Android handset makers.

Nokia is aiming to be a bigger player in mobile mapping services with a new cloud-based service, the company's CEO, Stephen Elop, told CNBC's "Street Signs."

On Tuesday, the Finnish mobile phone maker announced a new location service called "Here" that will be available not only on Nokia phones like the Lumia 920, which is powered by Microsoft's Windows Phone software, but also on the Apple iPhone and devices running Google's Android.

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"There are two different elements to revenue generation from our focus on mapping and location services," Elop said. "Every time someone buys a (Nokia) device we're helping to pay for the investment we're making in location-based services."

And because these types of platforms benefit from scale, Elop said it's important to get the service in front of as many people as possible.

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Elop said that licensing is "already paying and then some" for Nokia's R&D in maps, making the business profitable on that basis.

Nokia is also pleased with the early Lumia sales. But while the early days are positive, Elop told CNBC "we still have a lot of work ahead of us."