Yahoo Mobile Extends Asia-Pacific Reach

Yahoo has announced several new mobile initiatives for the Asia Pacific region, including five new Yahoo! oneSearch partnerships with leading mobile operators including Mahanagar Telephon 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), as well as strategic mobile advertising partnerships with Idea Cellular Ltd. (India) and Maxis Communications Bhd (Malaysia).

Additionally, Yahoo! announced localized 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. 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.

These announcements further demonstrate Yahoo!’s global momentum and unveil the next phase of the company’s mobile strategy for the Asia Pacific region. Today’s Yahoo! oneSearch partnerships announcement brings the total number of mobile search deals signed by Yahoo! worldwide in the last 18 months to over 60.

“Sixty signed Yahoo! oneSearch partner deals is a great milestone, putting us on our way to our goal of ultimately connecting the billions of mobile consumers around the globe with the best possible Internet experience,” said Marco Boerries, executive vice president, Connected Life, Yahoo!. “Today’s partnerships and product launches further Yahoo!’s global momentum and serve to reinforce our strong position in the mobile industry.”

The new Yahoo! oneSearch partnerships announced today with leading mobile operators include: Mahanagar Telephon 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). Yahoo! oneSearch, one of the industry’s leading mobile search services, will be the preferred search service on the carriers’ respective mobile Internet sites.

“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 David Ko, managing director & vice president, Yahoo! Connected Life, Asia Pacific. “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.”

Across the fast-growing Asia Pacific market, Yahoo! has entered into a total of twenty-three strategic mobile search partnerships with mobile operators, providing the company with an opportunity to bolster its market share of mobile search queries in the countries in which Yahoo! operates.

For example, in the Philippines, Yahoo! oneSearch is the predominant mobile search experience and has signed partnerships with Globe Telecom Incorporated, Smart and Sun Cellular, which provide mobile services to 95% of the total mobile consumers in the country. Similarly, in India, Yahoo! has inked partnerships with Idea Cellular, Reliance Communication, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL), Aircel Limited, BPL Mobile and MTNL (Mumbai); these leading operators provide mobile services to 50% of the rapidly-growing base of mobile consumers in India.

Additionally, Yahoo! today delivered the next phase of mobile search technology by launching Yahoo! oneSearch with voice for English speakers in Singapore and India. Yahoo! oneSearch with voice first launched in the U.S. in April to make it easier to initiate mobile searches. According to internal metrics, the product has successfully demonstrated the ability to increase the number of average searches per user by over 35% across the same mobile device models after discounting for speech accuracy rates.

Available beginning today for select BlackBerry devices including the 8800 series, Curve, and Pearl, this English language product is capable of understanding, disambiguating and learning accents localized for India and Singapore, allowing consumers to search for anything by simply speaking into their devices. Whereas many other mobile voice recognition systems are specific to vertical categories such as local listings, Yahoo! oneSearch with voice lets consumers perform “wide open” searches – returning relevant results for a range of queries.

Yahoo has also announced two 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!. Today’s announcement builds on Yahoo!’s mobile display advertising partnerships, which already includes similar advertising syndication partnerships with mobile operators including AT&T, T-Mobile International and Vodafone UK. Additional information on today’s mobile advertising partnerships can be found in the press release issued titled “Yahoo! Extends Mobile Advertising Lead by Announcing Partnerships With Maxis Communications Berhad and Idea Cellular Limited.”

Yahoo! Go 3.0, Yahoo!’s flagship all-in-one mobile offering, is available for consumers in Australia, India and Southeast Asia to download today. Yahoo! Go 3.0 further solidifies Yahoo!’s reputation for mobile innovation by delivering cutting-edge mobile experiences to consumers worldwide. 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.

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