Airtel redifines SMS: Short Message & Search 2.0

NEW DELHI, INDIA: In continuation with its efforts to enhance mobile experience for its customers, Bharti Airtel, India’s leading telecommunications service provider, along with Affle announced the launch of a revolutionary upgrade to SMS. This upgradation will allow users to trigger search from their friendly SMS screen, thus redefining SMS forever to Short Message & Search 2.0 (SMS2.0).

Traditionally SMS has been one of the popular applications on the mobile phone and one that is accessed most often by users. By ensuring that users could trigger search from SMS, Airtel has ushered into a new era where access to Mobile Internet is not limited to those who know how to launch browsers on their phone.

The ease of using search on Internet triggered an information access revolution on the internet. Airtel expects search to play a similar role on the mobile and thus its consistent efforts of making search access easier and more user friendly for its customers.

Sanjay Gupta, chief marketing officer; Bharti Airtel, said, “The uptake of the SMS2.0 has been very encouraging and we are embarking to take this platform to a different level – introducing search through SMS. This new upgrade service will thus allow Airtel users to Search – Airtel Live, Internet, local search, jobs and property listings, from their SMS screen.”

Anuj Khanna, CEO, Affle, said: “This integration of search on SMS, has been conceptualised and developed by Affle through its extensive R&D efforts in Singapore and India. India is a very exciting mobile market and in Airtel we have found a great partner to take our services to users.”

“We had tremendous success with the SMS2.0 service, and with the launch of search, we feel that the value proposition to the user is even more exciting. Our research shows that the search behaviour of users on the mobile phone is very different from the internet and hence integration of exciting local and other user relevant search options on the easy to use SMS interface makes this experience very enticing,” he added.

This revolutionary service also opens up a huge revenue model driven around delivering contextual advertising on the search results. As part of this partnership, the task of delivering and monetisation of this advertising also rests jointly with Affle and Airtel.

The Short Message & Search 2.0 (SMS2.0) application is available to users for free and to download SMS2.0, the Airtel customers simply need to send “SMS2″ to 543210. There is no charge for downloading and for subsequent content delivery on this platform; the SMS charges remain unchanged and according to the existing mobile plan.