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The Kelsey Report® White Paper

Global Perspectives on Yellow Pages Business Models
Charles Laughlin , 5/1/2000


Directory publishing has always been inextricably linked to core communications carrier services. That's because stock in trade of both utility-based and independent publishers is the database of telephone numbers that relate to names and addresses of both business and residential customers.

First the Internet came along to revolutionize global telecommunications (and to introduce a plethora of new "addresses" for the directory database). Then personal communications services (with millions of wireless devices and largely unlisted numbers) further disrupted the near static world of printed directories.

The advent of Internet Protocol and wireless technology forces U.S. utility-based directory publishers to rethink their relationships with other units within parent telcos. The Yellow Pages concept (meaning a directory through which buyers find sellers) plays well in print, online and over the air. However, it is difficult for publishers to forge relationships with the operator services, wireless or Internet service provider divisions of the parent company.

Yellow Pages sales organizations stand out as an ideal contact point for delivering a complete services bundle encompassing much more that hot links to cookie-cutter Web sites. However, this calls for a level of telco-pubco convergence that is largely unseen in the U.S.

In Europe, Australia and elsewhere abroad, directory publishers are willing to reach across boundaries between the pubco, the telco, the wireless carrier and the ISP. For instance, Telecom Italia is in the process of merging its ISP,, with SEAT Pagine Gialle, the Yellow Pages publisher. That merger would create an entity combining print and online Yellow Pages directories, DA and Internet access, plus the Italian Internet portal Virgillio.

Independent publishing entities like these - with a foundation in Yellow Pages but a mandate to leverage new technologies even if the print directory is ultimately left behind - are a compelling framework for carrying the directory businesses into the new century.

Copyright � 2005 The Kelsey Group. All Rights Reserved.
This published material is for internal client use only. It may not be duplicated or distributed in any manner not permitted by contract. Any unauthorized distribution could result in termination of the client relationship, fines and other civil or criminal penalties under Federal law. The Kelsey Group disclaims all warranties regarding the accuracy of the information herein and similarly disclaims any liability for direct, indirect or consequential damages that may result from the use or interpretation of this information.

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