Yahoo’s aggressive move on Mobile Search in Asia
The internet portal launched its mobile search service, dubbed Yahoo! oneSearch in Asia last May 2007 which included countries such as India (Idea Cellular), Indonesia (PT Telekomunikasi Selular), Malaysia (Maxis Communications), the Philippines (Globe Telecom), Taiwan (Taiwan Mobile), Singapore, Korea (LG Telecom), Thailand and Vietnam. That’s nearly 100 million subscribers base according to Yahoo.
I’ve tried Yahoo! oneSearch before when I learned about the partnership with Globe in the news last month. The mobile portal service works great on the several Nokia and Samsung phones I used it with.
Tonight, I met some new people from Globe’s marketing arm who invited me to test the usability of oneSearch on their network (on a Nokia N80 they provided). I agreed on condition I can blog about it.
I suggested some more ideas on how mobile search can better enhance user experience on mobile phones and other portable devices. Directory search and city maps is one of them. The one advantage of the Globe and Yahoo partnership is that oneSearch can be accessed for free. Charging only takes effect when you click on the results to hop on to the site out of the oneSearch network.
Likewise, I discovered that data rates for GPRS/3G have been lowered down to Php0.15 per KB plus 50% off (now down to Php0.075) on its ongoing promo. It’s not yet as enticing as Smart’s Php10/30mins. but I have this gut feel it’s slowly going in that direction. As what I’ve told them many times over, the price point is what kept me (and I believe many others) from seriously considering their services.
On the other hand, I believe offering Yahoo! oneSearch for free on the Globe network will allow more and more people to try out 3G services and expand market usage. Now, I wonder if Smart is inking the same deal with Yahoo anytime soon. Will have to ask one of their execs this week during that Smart myTV press launch.