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Telefonica goes Yahoo! around world

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Telefonica has signed a deal with Yahoo! to provide its OneSearch mobile search engine to all the mobile operator's customers across 15 countries in Europe and Latin America, including O2 customers in the UK.

The search engine, which was launched in May, is optimised for mobile searching, and any day now will start trans-coding sites to suit the device asking to view them. The deal also includes connections to Flickr and Yahoo! Mail.

Financial terms were not revealed, beyond the fact that it's a revenue-sharing agreement with the advertising pie being split between the operator and Yahoo!.

Space on operator portals is highly prized at the moment, with Google aggressively pushing into the space and network operators keen to monetise on what has generally been an underutilised resource. However, it's hard not to be reminded of the scramble to get onto ISPs' desktop portals during the last dotcom boom - before it became apparent that users not only could change their home page, but would.

Mobile users might lack the nous to do the same, but surely it's only a matter of time before they learn better. The zero key (held for two seconds) on Nokia handsets used to take users to their home page, but now goes to their bookmarks - indicative of a more discerning mobile browser already emerging. ®

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