Virgin Mobile has signed an exclusive deal with Yahoo to offer mobile search, including sponsored search and listings, through a newly developed portal.
From 8 December Virgin Media customers will have access to a new mobile portal powered by Yahoo's oneSearch platform.
Yahoo said that the oneSearch model is designed specifically for the mobile environment, in that it returns results directly in the first screen rather than providing a list of links like a traditional search engine.
Furthermore, oneSearch will try and help drum up sales by displaying related ringtones, wallpapers, games and other content within search results.
The two companies also intend to deliver sponsored search results and contextually served sponsored listings within the Virgin Media mobile portal from early next year.
"A great mobile search service is a crucial part of this and, by integrating Yahoo oneSearch into the portal, we are ensuring our customers have all the information they need at their fingertips," said Graeme Oxby, managing director of Virgin Mobile.
Yahoo reckons that the new deal, along with similar exclusive arrangements with Orange, O2, 3 and T-Mobile, give it 80 per cent of the UK mobile search market.
The web firm also has similar partnerships with more than 70 carriers around the world, reaching a claimed 850 million mobile subscribers.
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