HELSINKI: According to US-Japan backed Mobile Content Networks, ad revenues from mobile web searches are set to move into the mainstream and generate around $2.4 billion (€1.69bn; £1.34bn) annually by 2011.

MCN is headquartered in Tokyo, with a research and product development center in Mountain View, California, plus European centers in Finland, the UK, the Netherlands and Thailand.

It derives its revenues from placing ads alongside cellphone search results, and predicts that the market will more than double each year as consumption of wireless data and mobile content accelerates.

Says MCN co-founder Kimmo Paaso: "The mobile search business has started to move from an investment phase to the phase where it is a business on its own merits."

Working in tandem with mobile networks and ISPs, such as NTT DoCoMo, Yahoo Japan, Nokia and Tele2, the firm provides search management and revenue solutions that connect mobile users directly to the content they seek.

"At the moment operators' interest is very big, especially in Europe," Paaso claims.

He also believes that MCN's data collection technology, which is structured around the 'splintered' nature of wireless internet information, will enable it to build on its niche position alongside the search engines of major rivals who remain focussed on the traditional internet.

Data sourced from; additional content by WARC staff