Yell Launch Mobile, the UK business information portal styled on the Yellow Pages, has just announced the launch of Mobile. The service aims to give access to the company’s information on two million shops and services to mobile phone users through a Java application and even provides colour maps and directions from your location. Mobile is compatible with a large range of handsets, and a list is available from their main website. The service, excluding the premium services detailed below, is free – excluding normal network charges.

To use the service for the first time, the applet has top be downloaded by texting “mobile” to 80248. You’ll then receive a message that will prompt the applet download through your GPRS connection.

Once installed, users can search Yell by business type, name, location or browse by categories like “Gifts and Shopping” or “Days and Nights Out”.

Once a business is located, users are offered three premium services, each costing UK0.25 (€0.36): Map, Directions or Business Card. The map is presented at 1:25,000 scale with seven levels of zoom, and directions can be tailored to driving or walking and are based on the user’s current location. The business card function simply copies the full details of the company you’ve searched for to your phone’s address book.

Eddie Cheng, eBusiness director, Yell, said: “ mobile is a unique service, the most advanced of its kind currently available in Europe. The revolutionary application gives mobile users full access to’s business information whilst they’re on the move. Once downloaded, the application sits on the mobile handset with only requested data being transmitted over the air.” Mobile

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Fraser Lovatt

Fraser Lovatt has spent the last fifteen years working in publishing, TV and the Internet in various capacities, and believes that they will be seperate platforms for at least a while yet. His main interests at the moment are exploring where Linux is taking home entertainment and how technology is conferring technical skills on more and more people. Fraser Lovatt was born in the same year that 2001: A Space Odyssey was delighting and confusing people in the cinemas, and developed a lifelong love of technology as soon as he realised that things could be taken apart, sometimes put back together again, but mostly left in bits or made into something the original designer hadn't quite planned upon. At school he was definitely in the ZX Spectrum/Magpie/BMX camp, rather than the BBC Micro/Blue Peter/well-behaved group. This is all deeply ironic as he later went on to spend nine years working at the BBC. After a few years of working as a bookseller in Scotland, ("Back when it was actually a skilled profession" he'll tell anyone still listening), he moved to England for reasons he can't quite explain adequately to himself. After a couple of publishing jobs punctuated by sporadic bursts of travelling and photography came the aforementioned nine years at the BBC where he specialised in internet technologies and video. These days his primary interests are Java, Linux, videogames and pies - and if they're not candidates for convergence, then what is?