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Mobile local search

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Technology and Access Methods
– Mobile local search involves GPS tracking, which may raise privacy concerns.
– Only 10% of mobile devices worldwide were expected to be equipped with GPS chips in 2011.
– Access to the SS7 protocol allows mobile local search without GPS systems.
– Mobile local search can be screen-based using the mobile device’s keypad and display.
– It can also be voice-based using spoken commands and speech recognition technology.
– Screen-based search is the most common access method, but it may be awkward for people with coordination or vision handicaps.
– Specialized applications, SMS short codes, or web-based services can support screen-based search.
– Voice-based search is useful for those who have difficulty using the small keypad or need information while driving.

Types of Information
– Mobile search content includes location-based and street-smart information on businesses, products, services, events, and human relations.
– Location-based content can be formulated through accumulative data mining on consumer behaviors and whereabouts.
– A search for businesses focuses on a small geographical area, such as nearby pharmacies or restaurants.
– A search for products is more specific, aiming to find a local business that stocks a particular product.
– Full-function mobile local search services offer additional features like movie listings, restaurant reviews, traffic conditions, and more.

Differences from Web Search
– Mobile local search requires more immediacy, street-smart knowledge, and local events and driving directions.
– Callers have limited bandwidth and want to quickly zero in on the type of local information they are looking for.
– Advancements in Internet search, like page-ranking schemes, do not apply in the wireless world.
– Mobile local search focuses on answering specific questions rather than searching for websites.
– Question-answer models and directory service queries are prevalent in mobile local search.

Business Models
– Mobile local search services are provided by mobile carriers, directory enquiry providers, messaging operators, or Yellow Pages publishers.
– There is a growing network of agencies behind these outlets.
– Different business models exist for providing mobile local search services.
– Revenue can be generated through advertising, partnerships, or premium access to mobile operator services.
– Mobile local search presents opportunities for various stakeholders in the industry.
– Caller-pays model: Callers pay each time they access the service, common in voice-based directory enquiry services.
– Advertiser-pays model: Businesses pay to be placed early in the list of results or pay each time a caller chooses to connect.
– Hybrid models: Advertising revenue allows service providers to offer reduced rates.
– Mobile local search services are likely to be offered under all three models, but the hybrid model may predominate.
– The value to advertisers varies depending on their type of business, ranging from a dollar or less for a taxi or sandwich shop to over ten dollars for a real-estate broker, attorney, or debt consolidation service.

Industry Growth
– Consumers are demanding mobile local search, with an expected growth of 91% from 2007 to 2011.
– Mobile operators and service providers can address the gap in this opportunity.
– Consultants forecast that the global mobile local search industry will grow to over US$1 billion by 2010.

Mobile local search is a technology that lets people search for local things using mobile equipment such as mobile phones, PDAs, and other mobile devices. Mobile local search satisfies the need to offer a mobile subscriber spontaneous access to near-position services and information such as businesses, products, events, restaurant, movie theatre or other local information. Mobile local search is the search and discovery of persons, places, and things within an identifiable space defined by distinct parameters. These parameters are evolving. Today they include social networks, individuals, cities, neighborhoods, landmarks, and actions that are relevant to the searcher's past, current, and future location. These parameters provide structure to vertically deep and horizontally broad data categories that can stand-alone or are combined to comprise searchable directories.

Mobile local search is usually based on organized directories accessed through specialized search tools, rather than the web, although mobile local search often provides links to mobile (WAP) web sites. It is also an application of a location-based service.

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