Google Pushes Forward In The Mobile Web Race

Friday, February 22, 2008 by Mistlee

Google Pushes Forward In The Mobile Web Race

By Barry Welford

Yahoo Racing Ahead of Google in Asia's Mobile Race?" was the question raised in June 2007. For its mobile search service Yahoo! oneSearch, which it then launched in seven Asian countries, including India, Yahoo! was targeting a subscriber base of 100 million through various partnerships.

The article raised the question whether Yahoo could manage to stay ahead of Google in the mobile race in Asia. Clearly Yahoo has other things on its mind at the moment.

A much more important victory is heralded by this week's headline, Google Wins Japan's Mobile Net Battle. (Hat tip to Lee Messenger of Cre8asite Forums for that.) It suggests that the company's deals with NTT DoCoMo and KDDI, Japan's two biggest wireless carriers, have cemented its lead in mobile search. The article does point out that in the long run, the search companies and the carriers have interests that diverge more dramatically. The carriers want to channel subscribers through a proprietary Net gateway using proprietary browser software on mobile phones so they can charge subscribers for services, not just airtime. That's at odds with Google's mission: to give everyone Net access and make the online experience on a mobile device virtually indistinguishable from that on a PC.

Another important stage of the race is opening up with Voice Search. Voice Search is poorly understood. What will speech technology support? What applications do customers want? What will they pay for and how viable are ads in voice-search applications? The Voice Search Conference will be held in San Diego, March 10 - 12, 2008, to address these issues. Needless to say this is another area where Google is strongly represented.

As John Roese, CTO Nortel, muses as he returns from the Mobile World Congress 2008 - Oh, what a difference a year can make a:

You cannot consider wireless networks without including the carrier VoIP market, which is the agreed-upon method that will be used to make voice and real-time communications possible in these new networks. And you cannot consider the fate and shape of the wireless industry without including IT companies like Microsoft and Google and technology companies like Apple in the total view of the industry.

To boldly go where no man has gone before: that's the Mobile Web... and Google must be a strong favorite in that amazing

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