Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Vodafone Adds Google Search reports that Vodafone announced "it's working with Google to develop mobile search services for its subscribers. Vodafone will integrate Google's search capability into its consumer service, Vodafone live!" According to the article, "the new service, delivered through Vodafone's high-speed data networks, will let users search on both Vodafone live! and the wider Web simultaneously."

According to a Reuters report, "Google search will not be on the Vodafone live! Home deck, but a few screens in." Julie Ask at JupiterResearch pointed out that "mobile phone users aren't eager to click multiple times to use mobile search. She said, "Search is hard to use on a phone, unless you have a QWERTY keyboard."

The article mentions some of the other news at 3GSM, such as Orange and Vodafone launching "instant messaging interoperability", and Yahoo announcing a deal "with Rogers Wireless to offer Yahoo mobile services to Rogers subscribers," as a sign of the "growing open-mindedness among wireless network operators."

Linda Barrabee at Yankee Group said, "Carriers have been wanting to control the experience and have their brand be top of mind with the consumer. She noted the network operator rationale was to "keep customers within their walled gardens," so "they'll be able to get a greater share of revenue from advertising and purchases of content such as ringtones."

Barrabee commented, "but the market is evolving, and consumers have options to buy things via short codes or purchase content outside [the carrier's deck]."