Portals looking at tie-ups to hit mobile market
GLOBAL search portals are involved in a slugfest to grab a pie of the world’s fastest growing mobile market that is adding over seven million new users every month. Yahoo!, which lost the race for the big two, after Google forged an exclusive tieup with Bharti Airtel and Microsoft’s MSN entered into a similar partnership with Vodafone, has now pulled off a coup by signing ‘strategic’ deals with three telcos simultaneously. Yahoo!, whose India presence was so far limited to a tie-up with Idea Cellular, has snapped up state-owned BSNL, BPL Mobile and Aircel, and now has a target audience of 60 million subscribers. The race for tapping the cellphone market is best explained if the numbers are considered. “We have about half-a-million subscribers using the search facility daily. The response to the search offering has been particularly good. Most of the searches are centred on information, entertainment, directions and music,” explains Bharti Airtel’s president for mobile services Sanjay Kapoor.