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4/11/2008
06:43 PM
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V-Enable Uses 4-11 To Intro Free Mobile Search

FreeMobile411 lets users browse by category, get maps, or ask for driving directions.

Mobile search and directory assistance developer V-Enable used April 11 (numerically known as 4-11) as the launchpad for introducing its FreeMobile411 service.

The free mobile search service is available on any Web-enabled mobile handset at freemobile411.com and fm411.mobi, the vendor said in a statement Friday.

The app also lets users browse by category, get maps, or ask for driving directions. They can also browse nearby businesses and connect to an operator any time during the process. FreeMobile411 provides information on 14 million businesses and 140 million residential listings, according to V-Enable, which cited recent research that more than 30% of mobile search calls were in fact for residential listings.

V-Enable's Mobile411 service is available from carriers like Alltel, Leap Communications (Cricket Wireless), MetroPCS, U.S. Cellular, and Verizon Wireless. Now as a mobile application, it's also available to anyone with a Web-enabled handset.

V-Enable, founded by wireless experts from Nokia, Motorola, PacketVideo, and Cisco, uses multimode local search, in which mobile users simply speak or type whatever piece of information they're looking for; a visual or audio response usually just takes a few seconds, the company said.

"[Telephone directory service] 411 has come a long way and we hope FreeMobile411 brings together all of the rapid advances in Web and mobile services, while keeping the human touch of the live operator, into one service," said Craig Hagopian, executive VP of V-Enable, in a statement.

The company also used the numbers in Friday's 4-11 date to unofficially create the first annual 411 Day, some 130 years after the first operator-assisted phone call took place.

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