Mobile users in the country can now easily get local information on their handsets as leading search engine Google today introduced a service to facilitate access to such content.
The new offering Google SMS, has been launched in beta version across four cities Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Hyderabad. Google has tied-up with five operators Reliance, Bharti Airtel, BSNL, BPL and Aircel for offering the service, Google India head of products Vinay Goel told PTI.
The local information would include movie timings, restaurants, local hospitals and taxi services among others. The subscribers do not need an Internet-enabled phone for accessing the service.
The users would be charged between 80 paise and Rs 3 per SMS depending on the operator, he said, declining to give details of the revenue sharing arrangement between Google and telecom companies.
"We are betting big on the huge mobile subscriber base in India. After receiving the feedback from the four cities, we will launch the service across the country," Goel said.
Google SMS is already present in other countries but India is the first Asian country where the service has been launched.
"We are expecting a good response for this service," he added but declined to tell how many users is the Google expecting from this service.
"India is an exciting market and we are looking to expand usage of search beyond internet. Over 25 billion SMSs are sent in India every year and we would leverage on this," Goel added.