Vodafone and France Telecom-owned Orange will begin displaying the ads later this spring on their Wireless Access Protocol () portals Vodafone live and Orange World, Overture said Tuesday.
Overture, owned by Yahoo, started the practice ofat the top of search engine query lists. Advertisers bid for popular search terms such as "digital camera'' or "travel'' with the highest bidder getting the most prominent position atop the list.
Selling ads in this way has driven the recovery of online advertising and has triggered aamong some of the largest Internet companies including , and Microsoft's .
The push is now to bring such services to the hundreds of millions of Internet-enabled gadgets and mobile phones.
At launch, Overture will sell WAP page ads on the mobile operators' travel portals. A mobile phone user searching for "airfare" can navigate with a few key taps to an advertisers' specially designed WAP page and make a purchase by tapping a "call this number'' link.
Overture announced one such advertiser as online travel agent Lastminute.com.
"Initially, we will deploy our...commercial search model on text and location-based services, gradually moving on to more sophisticated applications allowing easy migration to 3G" mobile technology,'' said Martin Child, managing director of Overture's northern Europe unit.
Overture plans to add more operators and more territories in the coming months by working with British technology firm Mobile Commerce.