m-spatial Extend Orange Search With Local Results

Cambridge UK, 8 November 2006: m-spatial and Orange today announce new local search functionality on the Orange World mobile portal. The Orange UK portal home page search function has been upgraded to include results from listings of locally relevant businesses and amenities. The results are drawn from the wealth of rich and dynamic local information already provided by the recently re-branded Orange Local (previously Orange Finder) mobile local search service.

For example, the search term ‘music’ will now return detailed listings of record shops and other music venues near to the current location of the user, in addition to music content on the portal. Alternatively ‘music cambridge’ will return similar listings but for Cambridge rather than the user’s current location.

The integration of Orange Local into Orange’s search function further extends Orange’s strategy of offering a single ‘search’ point for consumers – highlighting the wealth of content available, driving traffic and encouraging data usage. Orange has coined the phrase ‘Clustered Search’ to describe the process of offering a single search box that utilises multiple specialist search engines to return optimal results.

“Search, and mobile local search in particular, is a strategic priority for Orange and today’s announcement extends Orange’s leadership position in the space,” said Steve Ricketts, Third Party Relationship Manager at Orange. “By working with m-spatial to upgrade our portal home page search through integration with the existing Orange Local service, we are addressing consumer demand for easy access to location specific information on their mobiles while encouraging usage of additional on-portal services.”

Users selecting one of the local results on the home page listing are automatically directed to the Orange Local service. Built upon the m-spatial Local Search and Discovery Engine (LSDE), Orange Local provides a detailed map-view of all businesses and services within the chosen area - along with other live and dynamic local information such as traffic and travel, entertainment venues and gigs, reviews and listings.

“Traditionally, users looking for locally relevant content have been poorly served outside specific services like Orange Local,” said Andy Walker, CEO of m-spatial. “But with estimates from brands, including Microsoft, that over 50 percent of mobile search enquires will ultimately have a local element, service providers must develop services and strategies to address this rapidly growing market. Orange is one of the first to do so, and we will continue to work together to extend its leadership position.”

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