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What's the 411?

New information numbers tell you more than ever.

Searching for local businesses can be tricky when all you have with you is a cell phone. Some new services are stepping up to put the squeeze on the old 411. Google recently released the lab version of Google Voice Local Search. Call (800) GOOG-411, give your city and state, then request a business name or category. The service is free and will connect you free of charge. Entrepreneurs can get themselves listed by participating in Google's regular listings. Check in at the Google Local Business Center.

Earlier this year, Microsoft acquired Tellme, another voice-recognition search service. Call (800) 555-TELL to access the Business Search function. It operates in a similar fashion to Google Voice Local Search. Tellme can also text-message search results to you. Tellme features other options, such as directions, weather, stock quotes, news and travel information. Add both numbers to your mobile phone contact list, and you'll have yourself well-covered when you're on the go.

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This article was originally published in the September 2007 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: What's the 411?.

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