September 12, 2006 4:00 AM PDT

Search comes to mobile phones

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As mobile search technology evolves, both the operators and established search companies like Google and Yahoo realize there is potential in paid search for mobile phones. Google is already testing ads on its mobile search interfaces in the U.S., U.K., Germany and Japan.

Some carriers have struck deals with Google and Yahoo to provide search tools. Google has deals with Vodafone and T-Mobile. Yahoo has also struck a deal with Orange and last week announced that its mobile search engine will be embedded in some new Nokia handsets.

But rumors have been circulating recently that Vodafone may be looking to get out of its deal with Google, which was announced at the European tradeshow 3GSM in Barcelona, Spain, in February. Some reports indicate that Google is getting half of the revenue from keyword searches and at least some of the associated advertising revenue generated. Vodafone fears that its cut of the revenue stream could be cut even further as Google introduced advertising-based search. Google has denied these rumors.

Whether the rumors are true or not, they highlight a serious problem for mobile search. Carriers who choose to go with a branded search service like Google risk losing control of the advertising revenue that comes from the search applications. They also risk diluting their own brand by using a search tool that is powered by the search brand. This is one reason why mobile operators in the U.S. have often opted to build their own search tools with the help of less-well-known companies dedicated to mobile search.

"In America, carriers want their brand on everything," McCabe said. "They want to control the revenue and that's why many have gone with 'white label' solutions."

In the white-label approach, operators put their own brand on the search tool. This way they can own the customer and provide more personalized search results. Alltel, the largest regional mobile operator in the U.S., said Tuesday it will use technology from JumpTap to build its own mobile search tool. Alltel is the first carrier JumpTap has announced. McCabe said JumpTap has also signed up two Canadian carriers, a top U.S. operator, and one mobile virtual network operator, or MVNO.

Creating their own search tools also means carriers can use customer data that they've already collected to fine-tune the searches and provide users with more useful links, McCabe said. Google and Yahoo use algorithms that do not use this personalized information.

On the other hand, search tools from Google or Yahoo may give subscribers a wider array of search results. If carriers control the search tool, they may steer subscribers onto their own sites in search results.

"The problem with operators controlling search is they might not offer the results that subscribers really want," said Ray Anderson, CEO of Bango, a company that helps content owners generate revenue.

Regardless of whether carriers develop their own search tools or partner with a well-known search company, most experts agree that search will become crucial in growing the use of the mobile Internet and spur much more e-commerce activity from mobile phones.

"The more things people are able to do with their mobile phones, the more indispensable they will become," Gillott said. "Today people select a service provider based on coverage, price and customer service. But once those things are all equal, search could become a differentiator."

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There's still a lot of issues that need to be dealt with.. the mobil arena. As a mobil developer for Tech01 ( I can personally tell you that there are some serious obstacles to over come in the development state that I wouldn't even recommend the notion of going on the mobil web.

That is of course unless you go to ; were trying to change this by offering a Mobil Portal that would allow easier use of the mobil net. Once again, there's development problems due to companies like HipTop and the Danger Network that T-Mobile offers. That's not a True HTML network. Sure, you can read graphic stripped pages, just click on the weather link at You'll see that the Danger Network provided by T-Mobile doesn't actually render real HTML pages. They use a technology that actually strips the HTML to only certain tags that are allowed to be rendered.

How about video, you may be able to offer video cast to people who want to pay for it but what about video through the mobil net? IMPOSSIBLE. Take the Google link at and then look for some video, my SideKick2 will crash like there is no tomorrow.

And then, what about the T-Mobile Danger network stripping Animated Graphics. Why? My NGage QD would render more HTML pages correctly than the SideKick2 all day long. Yet there on the same mobil networks.

This is just the mobil web limitation. There are the limitations of the devices themselves too. I remember when the SideKick was owned by Danger and nobody else new what the hell a SideKick was; yet I new they'd be the **** in due time. Now that I own a SideKick2 I'm so sorely disappointed in the fact that the browser used by it would crash so easily in my development arena.

FYI: I can create audio and video small enough to be useful; yet efficient enough to be streamed across the mobil web. That is of course, if you mobil companies like T-Mobile would be so courteous as to open the networks.

And if you don't think your company is capable of streaming video across the mobil web than you need to fire who ever is telling you that and hire Tech01!

The mobil web is young and can be useful; but it starts with GREEDY mobil companies that would rather try to get the first streaming dollar than open the pipes and let the little guy in, like myself, to get a piece!

Justin Gund
Posted by OneWithTech (196 comments )
Reply Link Flag
There's always Google
<a class="jive-link-external" href="" target="_newWindow"></a>
Posted by atariboy (19 comments )
Link Flag
Search for mobiles is a different animal
Searching for mobile sites is much different than searching on
the desktop. There are some innovative ideas that are starting to
emerge for the mobile space. These ideas and concepts need to
be expanded on and mobile browsing will explode when people
discover how easy it is use to the mobile web.

One such idea comes from an Irish company called Alatto with
their Tribes product. This is the marketing blurb from their site
about what Tribes is: "A key problem is that subscribers find
service discovery and mobile internet browsing far too difficult.
We solve this problem by making service discovery and content
browsing a 'one-click' process. The user doesn't have to enter or
remember URLs or navigate complex portal menus or download
java clients. Now all they need do is one-click browse to find
excellent content."

Try this on your mobile for a totally new mobile web experience.
<a class="jive-link-external" href="" target="_newWindow"></a>
Posted by ZooVision (44 comments )
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Posted by lucifinil (22 comments )
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Search come to mobile phones by the internet and search engine, there are many services available for &lt;a href=""&gt;latest mobile phones&lt;/a&gt;.
Posted by brunachrisa (2 comments )
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Search come to mobile phones by the internet and search engine, there are many services available for mobile phones.

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Posted by brunachrisa (2 comments )
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