That is evidence that wireless companies in search of revenue — not consumers in search of convenience — are behind efforts to create the list, said Charles Golvin, principal analyst at technology research firm Forrester Research.
“My guess is there is not much appetite among consumers as a whole. Look at the [popularity of] the Do-Not-Call list,” he said.
Cell-phone companies won’t publish the directory and it won’t be sold to telemarketers, Mr. Larson said.
The cost to place wireless calls or send messages to cell phones has prevented telemarketing to wireless phones or wireless spam from becoming a significant problem, but there is growing concern that it will spiral out of control.
“Today it’s more of a looming threat, but a wireless directory won’t affect that,” Mr. Golvin said.
Verizon Wireless, the nation’s leading cell-phone company with 38.9 million subscribers, has said it won’t contribute phone numbers to the list because it believes most consumers want to keep cell-phone numbers private.