Yahoo Expands its Mobile Presence in Asia

Yahoo Mobile today extended its footprint in Asia by signing search and display advertising deals with multiple carriers.

Mobile operators Maxis Communications Behad in Malaysia, and Idea Cellular Limited in India each signed with Yahoo to sell and serve graphical ads on their mobile networks. Yahoo already has similar display advertising partnerships with carriers including AT&T, T-Mobile, and Vodafone U.K.

OneSearch, Yahoo’s search platform, will be distributed on the decks of five mobile operators including Mahanagar Telephon Nigam Limited (India), Hong Kong CSL Limited, Smart Communications (Philippines), Digital Mobile Phlis (Philippines), and Vibo (Taiwan). With the addition of these five carriers, Yahoo has more than 60 mobile search deals worldwide, all signed in the past 18 months.

“Yes, Yahoo will use international markets, as Google will as well, as a means of extending their mobile footprint,” said Nicholas Covey, director of insights at Nielsen Mobile. “Yahoo is fantastic about going out and aggressively creating relationships with carriers.”

“We have incredible reach,” said a Yahoo corporate spokesperson. “But with mobile we have the opportunity to connect with billions of consumers, many of which may use their mobile devices as the predominant method to access the Internet.”

The search provider signed a deal with six carriers in Asia a year ago.

Additionally, Yahoo Go 3.0 was released in Australia and Southeast Asia. Go is a mobile portal users can personalize to gather relevant content such as local weather and news, movie listings, or celebrity gossip. Yahoo also introduced localized widgets from content sources including MTV Asia, Yahoo Cricket, and Yahoo Answers.

Research released by Nielsen Mobile finds Google has 61 percent of the mobile search market in the U.S., compared to Yahoo’s 18 percent. Covey said while a number of mobile subscribers search on Google as their go-to provider, “Yahoo has a very strong mobile Web presence.”

Yahoo Mail has 15 million unique mobile users in the U.S. each month, compared to 9 million uniques for Google mobile search, which is the next most popular mobile activity.

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