Orange launches "Find nearest" text service

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Webraska the power behind the phone

Orange, the UK’s most popular mobile phone service, is pleased to announce that its customers can now use SMS messages to locate businesses or services, with the launch of the Orange "Find Nearest" service, powered by Webraska Mobile Technologies.

Webraska, the pioneering provider of GPS wireless navigation applications and location-based services (LBS) solutions, has developed the 2 WAY SMS service to provide Orange customers with an easy-to-use text-based interface to the Orange "Find Nearest" Service.  This complements the existing WAP "Find Nearest" service, launched last year.

Accessing the service is simple; Orange subscribers just need to send a one-word request via SMS to the Orange short code 300 i.e. ‘PUB’.   Each search is priced at 20p.

“Although much of the hype surrounding the wireless data services has focused on WAP and Java applications, the potential of premium SMS-based services has often been under-estimated” said Jonathan Klinger, VP Marketing at Webraska.  “SMS-services are great for three main reasons: they're easy-to-use, the total available market is huge and people will pay for them". 

Darren Coleman, product manager data products, Orange UK commented “We’re pleased to be working with Webraska to deliver our Find Nearest service.   Webraska’s flexibility and technological superiority has been core to the success of this project.”

Powered by Webraska’s SmartZone Geospatial Platform the Orange Find Nearest service works by mapping a mobile phone’s location by cell ID technology.   Webraska’s software then cross-references this location against a comprehensive database of businesses and services.  The Find Nearest service returns the closest match to the search criteria entered.

Orange customers can also text ‘N’ for the next nearest search result, or text ‘L’ to receive a longer list of results.  For each search, the service returns the businesses name, address and telephone number. Customers can also get directions for the cost of an additional search.

The Orange "Find Nearest" service also offers the subscribers the ability to locate themselves if lost!  Upon texting ‘ME’ to 300, the service texts back the user’s location.

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