Yahoo Extends Mobile Reach in Asia
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As analysts and pundits noisily question the wisdom of Yahoo's alliance with archrival Google in what seemed a deal struck out of desperation, Yahoo presses forward with its mobile strategy, detailing a series of partnerships struck far away from the whirlwind in Silicon Valley and Wall Street.
At this year's CommunicAsia mobile conference in Singapore, Yahoo (NASDAQ: YHOO) said today that it has linked up with five regional carriers to make its oneSearch the default search engine on their networks.
Yahoo also inked deals to sell and serve mobile display ads deals with two Asian carriers, Malaysia's Maxis Communications and India's Idea Cellular Limited.
Analysts are quick to point out that the domestic market for mobile ads still lags far behind Asia, where sophisticated handsets are more widely embraced as a computing platform.
A recent study from Juniper Research projects that China and the Far East will remain the largest market for mobile ad spending over the next five years, reaching $2.1 billion by 2013.
Juniper estimates mobile ad spending worldwide to reach $7.6 billion that year, up from a projected $1.3 billion in 2008.
Yahoo has been moving aggressively with its oneSearch mobile search application. With the deals reached today, Yahoo said that it had signed with more than 60 carriers around the world in the last year and a half.
While many of the deals involve smaller regional carriers, partnerships with major providers such as Telefonica (NYSE: TEF) and America Movil (NYSE: AMX) have given Yahoo a substantial presence in Latin America and Europe.
With today's deals, Yahoo has now reached agreements with 23 carriers in Asia to make oneSearch the preferred search function on their mobile Internet applications. Yahoo was not immediately able to provide the number of subscribers its services now reach in the region.
Yahoo's new partners in Asia are India's Mahangar Telephon Nigam, Taiwan's Vibo and Hong Kong CSL as well as Smart Communications and Digital Mobile Phlis, both of the Philippines.
Also today, Yahoo rolled out local versions of its Go 3.0 mobile portal for India, Australia and Southeast Asia.
The company is also offering several mobile widgets geared for the Asian market, including one that provides entertainment news and updates from MTV Asia.