Yahoo Offers Mobile Web Services in Latin America

Yahoo is offering consumers in Latin America’s three largest markets a set of mobile Internet search services, paving the way for network carrier partners to offer Yahoo services of their own.

Yahoo said on Monday that consumers in Argentina, Brazil and Mexico can point their phone Web browsers to to download Yahoo’s OneSearch mobile Internet software, which features local information in Spanish or Portuguese languages.

OneSearch offers Internet search on the first screen that users call up, in contrast to browsers designed for computer users that force phone users to navigate through several screens of links to locate the Web information they desire.

The Yahoo service, which will start out in public test mode in Latin America, was first introduced in the United States earlier this year. It makes mobile Web search faster and more relevant by providing links to local news, financial data, weather conditions, Flickr photos, and other Web sites.

These consumer services are designed to complement Yahoo’s push to partner mobile operators to feature a set of Yahoo Internet services on phones they offer their own subscribers.

Last month, Yahoo struck a deal to deliver such services to customers of Telefonica SA in several European and Latin American markets. The deal could eventually cover up to 100 million Telefonica phone subscribers.

“You can see this as a precursor for our partners to deploy it on their side,” Marco Boerries, executive vice president of Yahoo’s Connected Life division, said of the direct-to-consumer offer market introduced late on Monday.

Yahoo is racing to attract subscribers to Internet services delivered via mobile phones rather than via computer browsers as rival Google has begun a longer-term push to offer software to create a new class of Internet-ready phones.

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