Saturday, January 10, 2009

2009: Mobile Messaging Predictions

I ran into some pretty interesting mobile messaging predictions written by Chris Lennartz from Mobile Messaging 2.0. I have taken the freedom to publish some of the most exciting content from his predictions here on our Mobispine blog.

- Mobile messaging to defy economic downturn - Mobile messaging will continue to grow despite the current downturn in the global economy. As mobile data revenues increase and voice revenues are under pressure, mobile messaging will be seen as the lifeline to the mobile industry, as especially mobile youth regards it as cheap, fast, private, easy and silent. It will fuel the growth in mobile data services and will in turn steer mobile operators, device OEMs and content providers through the tricky times ahead.

Our predictions support recent figures from M:Metrics which state that the number of people using SMS has increased 3.3% year on year across mature markets like the UK, Germany, France, Italy and Spain. This supports recent figures from ABI research which state that revenues from mobile messaging will grow from $127 billion in 2008 to $212 billion by 2013.

- Less developed regions to fuel peaks in SMS activity - Most new subscribers to mobile services will come from less economically developed and newly industrialised regions, many of whom have a low disposable income. Most of the phones shipped to these markets have little more than voice and text capabilities so the growth potential for SMS in these markets will be significant. According to ABI the number of messaging users will grow with a rate of over 10% per year in countries in Asia, South America and Africa

- China fuels MMS uptake - The use of MMS will continue to grow especially in China where MMS is booming. Its growth will be helped by ever improving handsets and the demand for user generated content, blogging, social networking and mobile marketing. Juniper Research predicts revenues from MMS to top $16 billion in 2009. However, for this to happen mobile operators must ensure that their infrastructure and marketing is equipped to target MMS. The application-to-person MMS traffic in China makes up for 70% of all MMS traffic (source: ZTE)

- Personalisation comes of age - In the Western world, we expect much of the growth in mobile messaging to come from personalised services, as in the Fast Moving Consumer Good market that telecoms has become, differentiating on user experience is key. Customers will demand more from their operators in terms of ease of use, convenience, status, fashion, security, safety, privacy and control, so differentiating the services an operator can offer through added features such as productivity and security-based SMS applications, like out-of-office, auto-forward, storage/back-up capabilities and messaging firewalls will be key to not only enhancing the mobile experience but also increasing messaging ARPU and offsetting generic price decline on SMS and MMS.

- Mobile internet overtakes PC based internet use - The use of the mobile internet will increase significantly by the end of 2009. According to IBM more than 50 per cent of consumers would substitute their PC based internet connection for their mobile. As the majority of new phones come with internet access as standard we predict that more people will access the internet from their mobile than their PC by the end of 2009. According to T-Mobile Germany, browsing on iPhones was 30 times more than on other handsets, and at Vodafone Germany 45% of data ARPU already is mobile internet, due to partnerships with Google, YouTube and MySpace and using widgets.

- The digital youth drives changes in communication - The rise of social networks will continue and this will impact upon mobile messaging traffic as more and more people use their mobile phones to update their profiles remotely and blog on the move. It will be interesting to see what the behaviour of the digital youth will lead to as they have proven that they prefer social networking, blogging and text messaging over voice. Will this lead to the end of the voicemail as we know it? According to Nielsen Mobile, the 13-17 age group in the US sends around 1800 SMS per month, that is 60 SMS per day…

What do you think? Do you agree? Or not?