Yahoo may be busy fending off buyout overtures in the US, but here in the Asia-Pacific region, it is looking at considerably expanding its presence in the mobile sector by tying up with several local entities, including Idea Cellular and MTNL in India.
Not only is Yahoo collaborating with local operators to provide search services, it has also taken the relationship to the next level by announcing strategic mobile advertising partnerships with Maxis Communications Berhad in Malaysia and Idea Cellular Limited in India. The two mobile operators plan to carry a variety of graphical advertisements, sold and served by Yahoo.
The new partnerships announced today with Maxis and Idea are the result of continued collaborations to develop and enhance the mobile Internet experience for consumers. In the last eight months, these partners have announced and launched Yahoo oneSearch on their portals, providing a mobile search experience that delivers better answers and relevant information to consumers without having to scroll through lists of Web links.
"Yahoo is a leading monetization engine for the mobile Internet, enabling advertisers to reach targeted audiences at large scale and with impact, providing consumers with enhanced mobile experiences, and allowing publishers to monetise their services,: said David Ko, managing director and vice president, Yahoo Connected Life, Asia Pacific. "Across all categories, we are creating superior experiences that deliver great value to advertisers and mobile consumers.''
''The partnerships with Maxis and Idea, respectively, demonstrate Yahoo's continued focus on becoming the must-buy opportunity for advertisers and further extend our leadership in graphical advertising across mobile devices.'' This announcement brought the total number of such strategic partnerships in the region to 23.
While Maxis and Idea have progressed beyond simple search, five new Yahoo oneSearch partnerships were announced with leading mobile operators including Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL, India), Hong Kong CSL Limited (CSL), Smart Communications Inc. (Smart, Philippines), Digital Mobile Phlis, Inc. (SUN Cellular, Philippines) and Vibo Telecom Inc. (Vibo, Taiwan).
''Working closely with our partners, Yahoo oneSearch is a starting point for mobile consumers across the Asia Pacific region, delivering locally relevant information on their mobile devices,'' said Ko.
''Our mobile strategy to lead and enable the mobile ecosystem is being implemented by focusing on developing mobile-first experiences, like Yahoo oneSearch, and fostering high-quality partnerships to enhance the user's mobile Internet experience. This approach should benefit all parties, producing a higher level of profitability and deeper consumer engagement.''
This announcement brought the total number of such oneSearch partnerships in the region to 60. In India, Yahoo's existing partners are Idea Cellular, Reliance Communication, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL), Aircel Limited, BPL Mobile and now, MTNL.
Additionally, Yahoo announced localised versions of Yahoo Go 3.0 for India, Australia and Southeast Asia, including a local language version for Indonesia, and an English version of Yahoo oneSearch with voice that recognizes regional accents.
Yahoo! Go 3.0 takes mobile services to the next level with an upgraded and feature-rich user interface, a truly personalized start page and customizable access to consumers' favorite Internet brands and services through easy-to-use third-party widgets.
Consumers in Australia, India and Southeast Asia can download Yahoo! Go 3.0 on more than 270 mobile devices from major manufacturers worldwide and use it on most wireless networks by visiting the website.
The company also announced the launch of new mobile widgets for the Asia Pacific region including Yahoo Cricket, Yahoo Answers and Showtimes (Yahoo India Movies), as well as a MTV Asia mobile widget featuring news updates and music charts.