On top of that Vodafone and Yahoo! have agreed to extend their partnership to bring their instant messaging services to both the mobile phone and PC.
Google Maps for mobile, a downloadable java application, is expected to offer customers in selected markets easy-to-use maps and local listings, as well as local search and navigation capabilities. Customers will be able to enjoy unlimited use of Google Maps for mobile, subject to Vodafone data tariffs.
Google and Vodafone are working together to ensure the service provides customers on selected handsets with an automatic user-location capability.
"Vodafone sees Google Maps as a new milestone in the relationship that both companies are developing. It is a prime example of how Vodafone, through its location service and distribution scale, can complement Google’s products and unlock mass-market access to exciting services," said Frank Rovekamp, Global Chief Marketing Officer of Vodafone.
Google’s search results will be delivered through Vodafone’s high speed data networks. Combining Vodafone’s mobile expertise with Google’s search capability will ensure that customers can quickly and easily find what’s relevant to them.
Alan Harper, Group Strategy Director, Vodafone, said: "Innovative mobile search will become increasingly important as fast and easy access to information and services are increasingly demanded by customers on the move. Together, Vodafone and Google will focus on creating the best mobile search service in the market, helping to bring the mobile internet to life."
The integration of Google technology also means an enhanced internet experience, making off-portal pages more accessible and relevant for handset screen sizes. Customers will therefore only be presented with services, such as games, that are compatible with their handsets.
The Yahoo! integrated services will be based on a co-branded application that can work on both PCs and mobile devices. As a result, customers will be able to send messages from PC to mobile and vice versa, while enjoying the benefits of easy access to their contacts and friends.
The new service means that customers will be able to use the address book functionality to see whether their friends are online and exchange messages when these friends are either on their PC or mobile devices.
"This partnership is significant as mobile phones play an important role in how customers communicate and stay connected to their Internet community,” said Marco Boerries, Senior Vice President, Connected Life, Yahoo!. “The combined expertise of Vodafone and Yahoo! means that we will be able to deliver an exciting and relevant experience to consumers across both their mobile and PC."
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