Wireless youth network Virgin Mobile USA is extending its mobile search functionality by integrating a WAP-based local search application from mobile search developer JumpTap Inc. The application enables Virgin Mobile USA customers to input specific search terms along with a ZIP code or city and state to find anything local.
According to research by Maryam Kamvar of Columbia University and Shumeet Baluja of Carnegie Mellon University, 57 percent of Americans have a cell phone.
“Just as desktop search has been a gateway to increased consumption of wired data, we believe wireless search – queries performed from a mobile device – will help meet user demands for data access at any time and at any place,” the researchers said.
Virgin Mobile customers can now search for local maps and directions to and from destinations from their mobile phones. Virgin Mobile will also offer on-and-off portal search in one WAP-based application.
According to Google’s Zeitgeist, there are approximately 150,000 searches performed through a mobile phone monthly.
Virgin Mobile USA also uses JumpTap’s mobile services to organize and deliver relevant results to users’ mobile phones through sponsored and organic links, providing marketers with another way to present relevant information to consumers.
The local search application is available on all Virgin Mobile 3G-enabled phones, including the MarbL, Slice and Switch Back. Access to the VirginXL suite of mobile content applications costs 10 cents a day. There is no additional charge for search.