Virgin Mobile USA is partnering with JumpTap to provide search services for its four million plus customers.The search functionality, which launches in February, lets users trawl both Virgin’s own XL portal as well as the mobile Web. “Navigating through pages of WAP content, or trying to hit Web sites that aren’t mobile-enabled will soon be a thing of the past,” said Dominick Tolli, VP of mobile data services for Virgin Mobile USA. “By simply typing in the name of a favourite artist or topic into their handsets, customers will immediately pull up results of all related content from both Virgin Mobile and sites across the Web. This is another major step in making the whole wireless experience more satisfying for our customers.”
The new search platform will be available on all Virgin Mobile 3G-enabled phones – such as Slice, Flasher V7, SwitchBack and more – at no additional cost over the existing fees related to WAP deck access and Web browsing.
The partnership with JumpTap will also allow Virgin Mobile to expand its mobile advertising capabilities. The search function delivers relevant results to the customer through both sponsored and organic links.
Search-based advertising is the latest stage in Virgin Mobile’s ad-centred strategy. Earlier this year it launched SugarMama, an incentive programme offering customers free airtime in exchange for opt-in viewing of ads online.
Virgin USA launched in July 2002 using the Sprint Nextel Network. It has just over four million customers. Jumptap is a white-label mobile search provider, offering branded search functions to networks all over the world. Its operator partners include Alltel for whom it provides an own-brand search box.