WWW goes mobile

A NEW BOND Officials shaking hands in New Delhi   | Photo Credit: PHOTO: V. SUDERSHAN

Bharti Airtel and Google combine to redefine the mobile internet in India

Want to locate a hotel while you are on the road? Want to find out U2's origins while sunning yourself at a park? You will soon have access to Google on your Airtel phone. Bharti Airtel and Google recently announced a strategic partnership that will bring Google search to the Airtel Live mobile WAP portal. Google will power search both on net (content on Airtel Live) and off net (Internet on Mobile).Google will also incorporate Mobile Ads. This will be "non-obtrusive and targeted advertising", where while searching U2, U2-related ads will be displayed. The ads will also be time- and region-specific. Manoj Kohli, President, Bharti Airtel Limited, believes in the potential of this tie-up, as mobile users outnumber PC users 1:6 in India. So the first computing experience for the majority of Indians in the next few years will be on the mobile phone. He elaborates, "The Airtel - Google tie-up will go a long way in winning the hearts of our customers, especially our youth customers." Sukhinder Singh Cassidy, Vice President, Asia Pacific and Latin America Operations, Google, believes that by bringing Google to the Mobile, Google is furthering its mission "to organise the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful". The partnership promises to benefit consumers, content providers and advertisers. For consumers it allows access to much wider information on the mobile. Information will be made available in a quick and targeted manner.This partnership will also explore new business models. It will provide a platform for advertisers to reach customers. Cassidy explains that consumers will have access to not only the head, but also to the tail of information. Obscure information will also be made available. She sums it up as a "win-win situation".