China Telecom has announced that its Best Tone “QuanNengSou” (OmniSearch) mobile search service will be included on the Over-The-Air (OTA) menu of all handsets sold through China Telecom after September. In addition, the SMS number for accessing the service has now been shortened to 118114 from the previously much longer code of 106591140. China Telecom first launched the service in mid-May.
China Telecom also confirmed that the company that powers the OmniSearch service, Shanghai-based mobile search provider mInfo, has been granted exclusive rights as the ad agency for the SMS-based platform. Currently the platform generates ad revenues in two ways, through sending a follow-on message to the user after he has received the response to his search query or by providing advertisers a higher paid ranking in the search results. In the future, China Telecom is also planning to extend the platform to include web and WAP interfaces.
Best Tone OmniSearch was previously named as one of China Telecom’s major operations for 2009, with service covering a broad range of topics including information on food and beverage, entertainment, sports and other lifestyle options, an encyclopedia, weather forecasts, stocks, flights, train schedules and other real-time information, as well as a directory on millions of home businesses and enterprises nationwide.
China Telecom mobile phone and PHS users will have the option of receiving instant replies by either submitting questions via SMS or accessing OmniSearch directly through their SIM card’s built-in UIM Toolkit (UTK) and Over-The-Air (OTA) menus on their mobile phones.