Vodafone is making location-based searches for users of their 3G handsets more serendipitous. Using location information from base stations, the new service will automatically display users’ current location areas on Vodafone live!, making it easier to search for information on nearby restaurants and public transport. Previously, 3G customers searching for a nearby restaurant, for example, first had to select their current location area and address to begin. Location-based searches are one tool in the personalized arsenal of value-added services that telecom carriers hope will generate advertising and data revenue and keep customer loyalty.
In the US online directory, and mobile entertainment /services company InfoSpace just kicked off a location based search content service on Sept. 27th. The company introduced a group of mobile local search products that US carriers can integrate to enable subscribers to find everything from nearby restaurants and movie times to maps and driving directions. NASDAQ-listed InfoSpace reportedly provides nearly half of the mobile content sold in North America. The InfoSpace program supports data-enabled mobile phones, with users pinpointing their location through automated GPS or location systems, zip code, address, intersect, or preset entries.
Vodafone?fs new service, however, bypasses the need to type in current locations, drawing as it does on base station location. This free service kicks of October 3rd and can be used on most – though not all – Vodafone 3g handsets. (V801SA, V801SH, 702MO, 702sMO, 702NK (Nokia 6630), 802N, and VC701SI are all excluded.)