Tuesday, November 20, 2007

India's Centric Mobile Services

Earlier we blogged about Yahoo! tying up with major Indian telecom companies for its OneSearch technology, We have just heard the news that MSN has launched India centric MSN Mobile services very recently and is also tying up with major Indian telecom companies for developing location-based search.

MSN has recently launched a new mobile client which has a high potential though it is still not yet available for the Indian market. MSN India Mobile offers all WAP-enabled or GPRS enabled phone users to check e-mail, chat on MSN messenger, browse the schedule of any events and much much more. A user can only use the service of MSN India Mobile if their mobile handset supports normal XHTML viewing. We have also heard that Nokia is MSN’s worldwide partner.

MSN is said to be still in talks with major Indian telecom companies for developing location-based search services which will offered to Indian users. Location-based search services (LBS) provides users with search results that cater according to the present location of the user. Some more good news is that the service will also enable Indian mobile users to track routes as MSN will launch Maps on mobiles as well.

Senthilkumar Sundaram, Mobile Business Head - MSN India says:

“By combining search with LBS, we can leverage the operator’s network to offer a powerful tool for mobile users,”

Approximately 40-50 % mobiles sold in the Indian market are GPRS enabled though the mobile user is still not attracted to use the internet on their mobile handsets. As Google already rules the web based search market, it would be very crucial for MSN to crack the mobile version of the search market in India as the number of mobile users in India is fairly higher than Internet users. The big three giants - MSN, Yahoo! and Google are going neck-to-neck to capture the Indian mobile market as the war is certainly heating up with Google launching Open Handset Alliance in order to capture eye balls. We had already blogged about it earlier.

It will be important to see the strategy of MSN, Google and Yahoo! to capture the king size Indian mobile market and the big time opportunity that India holds for them. We had just blogged yesterday that MSN has also upgraded its MSN Live services so it will be interesting to see whether Google follows suit with MSN’s strategy to offer users to synchronize and read all their emails from respective email websites through its gmail services and offer the same services on its mobile version.

By Ronak Shah

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