Virgin Mobile Launches Branded Local Search

Local.com_Logo.jpgVirgin Mobile USA has teamed up with Local.com to introduce a branded local directory service on the carrier’s deck, MediaPost reports.

Here’s how it works: “Virgin’s ad-supported Local Mobile service will allow its 5 million customers to find local businesses and services, get driving directions and view business profile pages via the mobile Web.”

In other words, it’s just like any other mobile Search function. Probably less so, since some of the latest ones on other carriers hook into GPS-enabled handsets for location-based search, whereas most of Virgin Mobile’s handsets lack that feature.

Don’t get us wrong; Virgin is very cool because of its prepaid, no-contract plans. But its handsets are considerably behind the major US carriers in features and design. (That’s how Virgin keeps handset prices low without the subsidies and two-year contracts).