Missing markets: wireless assistance

The Scandinavian countries all have wireless directory assistance, but the U.S. does not, largely because of privacy concerns and fear of telemarketers. Here is a summary of recent debates.

This week’s Fortune magazine (June 28, p.47) writes:

…directory assistance could be much more than just a repository for phone numbers. She argues that the phone companies, with some new software and employee training, could begin offering new services, such as a system that allows an operator to forward, for a fee, a text message to the unlisted customer you’re trying to reach. And why stop at wireless numbers? Directory assistance could list e-mail addresses, work numbers, website addresses — or any other info-nugget a customer might desire.

What I want: Large numbers of well-educated Indians, standing by a phone in Bangalore, who can use Google for me and answer my queries when I am on the road. Some of these Indians would be conversant with macroeconomic time series data, others would be experts in the use of MapQuest.com.


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