Sunday, October 15, 2006

Google Goes Into Mobile Search, But Wireless Carriers Resisting

Google, the online search titan, is fighting for a piece of the nascent cell phone search market. Global mobile search advertising revenue is expected to reach $1.5 billion by 2011, up from virtually nothing today.

Yet the firm's muscle won't guarantee success. In some ways, it may hurt.

Many wireless firms cringe at Google's mighty brand. As mobile advertising revenue grows, carriers plan to steer it in their own direction, not Google's.

That's why the Mountain View, Calif., company aims to make friends of wireless phone companies and hammer out revenue-sharing pacts with them.

Wireless firms can't ignore Google's popularity, says Dipchand Nishar, director of product management for Google Mobile. He concedes there's plenty of competition in mobile search.

"(Wireless) carriers are going to explore different options for themselves," Nishar said. "This is a business. And companies form relationships that make sense for them.

"I'm confident that Google has a big role to play."

Wireless Internet differs from online searching. There's typically no easy-to-use search button on mobile phone screens, unlike personal computers.

And in wireless, phone companies rule -- or try to.

Read Reinhardt Krause's complete story on

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