Wireless phones have long been viewed as a private communication
pipeline through which consumers would not be bothered by
unwanted callers or telemarketers. With the implementation
of the Do Not Call Registry, U.S. consumers are ensured privacy
from unwanted callers on their landline and wireless phones.
However, a proposal to create a wireless directory assistance
(DA) product is once again sounding privacy alarms.
the fears expressed by these consumers are widely known, the
needs of the other core group of subscribers business
customers may not be as well represented in the debate.
This group relies on all forms of directory applications to
drive customers to their businesses. Currently, there is no
distinction among wireless numbers for "consumer" or "business,"
nor is there an automatic channel for businesses that sign
up for wireless service to be included in a directory-based
application such as the Yellow Pages. The lack of infrastructure
could cause many businesses to be excluded from directory
publications and cause publishers to miss out on potential
incremental revenue streams. The current U.S. experiment can
look to both successful and unsuccessful efforts in Europe
to draw useful lessons.