The announcement today by JumpTap that it will be providing mobile search and advertising services to U.S. Cellular, further demonstrates that mobile-search is still anyone’s game. The Cambridge, Mass.-based company plans to make the announcement today at Qualcomm’s (NSDQ: QCOM) Brew conference in San Diego. U.S. Cellular decided to go with JumpTap’s white-label search instead of picking big-names, like Google (NSDQ: GOOG), Yahoo! (NSDQ: YHOO) or even Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT), or other white-label startups like Motricity or Medio Systems. The company’s platform will help U.S. Cellular subscribers find on-deck content from their mobile phone, and provide relevant results based on a person’s behavior, location and other information provided by the carrier. That context is given to advertisers to provide more effective on-deck advertising, but also to outside publishers to provide more relevant ads off-deck.
“It’s really early stage in terms of mobile,” said Jumptap’s CMO Paran Johar. “We are trying to take the best practices from the Internet and apply them to mobile.” He said it’s only been in the last 24 months that publishers have realized the potential of getting behavioral information to make advertising more targeted. “The operator gets to participate in off-deck advertising, the consumer gets a better experience because they are getting a much more relevant ad, and the advertiser is happier. It’s not a bad situation.”