Nokia has added still more providers to the stable of local directory companies that make up its mobile search offer. This time (according to this press release) it?s local directory providers from the Al Wahda-Express Group of Companies, official publishers of Etisalat Yellow Pages, Saudi Arabia STC Yellow Pages and Egypt Yellow Pages. The tie-up means mobile search users will be able to access local content for Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. The UAE Yellow Pages directory was launched today at the Gitex 2006, a Middle East telecoms trade show. The Egypt and Saudi Arabia Yellow Pages directories are slated for launch before end-2006.
The end-game for Nokia is to develop a mobile search approach for every category and search situation. (Not to be overlooked Nokia also has a partnership with Medio Systems, a U.S. white-label search engine provider, allowing users to search for mobile content worldwide. However, this is overshadowed by the importance Nokia places on building out its local search capabilities.) To this end Nokia offers country specific plug-ins that are available to users when they roam to that country or choose to change the phone?s country settings in the options menu. Put simply, users are automatically connected to a network in a new country, and new content specifically relevant to the location is updated automatically.
Nokia claims mobile search has already seen ?a tremendous increase in users? (but offers no figures to support this) across Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, Spain, Sweden and the U.K. (These are also the countries represented in Nokia?s Mobile Search Application through a web of partnerships with comprehensive directory providers in each of the countries.)