Airtel teams with Affle to offer mobile internet search

Available free to users

By Subhankar Kundu @ Monday, September 22, 2008 10:04 AM

Bharti Airtel has announced the launch of a SMS upgrade with another mobile media company, Affle, allowing users to activate a search from their SMS screen. The integration of the search facility was developed by Affle at its R&D facilities in Singapore and India.

The Short Message & Search 2.0 (SMS2.0) application is available to users for free. To download SMS2.0, Airtel customers have to send a SMS request. However, users won’t be charged for downloading, and there is no change in the SMS tariff rates under all existing plans.

This not only allows mobile internet users to launch browsers in their mobile phones, but also opens up a potentially huge revenue stream for service providers by delivering contextual advertising on the search results.

Speaking at the launch, chief marketing officer of Bharti Airtel Sanjay Gupta said, “The uptake of the SMS2.0 has been very encouraging and we are embarking to take this platform to a different level – introducing search through SMS. This new upgrade service will thus allow Airtel users to search  Airtel Live, internet, local search, jobs and property listings from their SMS screen.”

Affle CEO Anuj Khanna said: “India is a very exciting mobile market, and in Airtel we have found a great partner to take our services to users.” X