SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - AT&T Inc is set to begin featuring Yahoo Inc search services on the Internet menu of mobile handsets used by its base of up to 70 million U.S. customers, the companies said on Monday.
AT&T plans to offer, through its mobile Internet portal, a collection of Yahoo’s oneSearch mobile Web services including links to news, financial information, weather, Flickr photos as well as Web search via the phone.
This is part of a revised partnership announced in January between the two companies where Yahoo will provide search and advertising services to AT&T’s broadband computer, Internet TV and mobile phone customers. AT&T’s YellowPages.com will deliver local search information to customers as part of the new deal.
That replaced a 2001 broadband agreement where Yahoo split revenue with AT&T when customers signed-up for broadband computer Internet services in the U.S. phone company’s service area.
Separately, Yahoo reached a contract extension with Verizon Communications Inc on a similar broadband computer deal to deliver Web services to Verizon computer broadband and Internet TV users. That deal does not cover mobile phones.
Rival Google Inc is in talks with Verizon to become the preferred Web search provider for Verizon mobile phone customers. Verizon, the No. 2 U.S. mobile operator, is set to overtake market leader AT&T once it wins regulatory approval to buy rural wireless provider Alltel later in 2008.
Yahoo said it has announced partnerships with 60 carriers worldwide to offer OneSearch services on mobile phone networks serving close to around 800 million subscribers.
These deals stretch across Asia, Europe and Latin America. With AT&T now live, two-thirds of the announced deals have been put into effect. OneSearch is seeing heaviest usage from two Philippine carriers, Smart and Globe, a Yahoo spokesman said.
Search queries are also strong in Britain and across Europe through carriers deals with T-Mobile, France Telecom’s Orange and Telefonica SA’s 02.
“This partnership with AT&T will enable Yahoo to reach tens of millions of mobile Internet users in the United States and provide advertisers with reach and scale,” IDC wireless analyst Scott Ellison said in a statement from Yahoo.
Editing by Simon Jessop
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