British wireless provider Vodafone has revealed it has big plans for the assets of navigational software firm Wayfinder, which it acquired in December 2008 for $30 million.
Jeremy Makin, Vodafone’s international development manager for mobile advertising, told moconews that Wayfinder will be used in a location-based advertising roll-out in which advertiser logos will be overlaid on user-requested maps. The LBS advertising platform is expected to enter trial mode later this summer after Vodafone begins embedding Wayfinder maps on its newly released mobile phones.
According to Makin, the trial is just the first stage in a variety of LBS advertising products planned from Vodafone, one other of which is called “Power Search,” a location-aware mobile search product in which advertisers can bid to reach the top of the search results, much like the way Google AdWords works. Power Search is expected to use cellID for location rather than GPS so it’ll be available on all Vodafone handsets.
The first three markets to test the new services will be the United Kingdom, Scandinavia and Germany, followed over time by availability in Vodafone’s other sixteen markets.