Saturday, June 16, 2007

Dispelling Mobile Myths

Taken from a blog by Tomi T Ahonen who is a four-time bestselling author and consultant, lecturing at Oxford on high tech and convergence.

Tomi exposed some of the mobile myths and he went on to dispell some of the widely-held misunderstandings on it. Here are the summary.

- Mobile telecoms is larger than its 100 year older fixed landline telecoms business.
- The mobile telecoms traffic industry alone (excluding handset and network equipment sales) is worth about 650 Billion dollars annually making it larger also than the IT industry (or the advertising industry for that matter). If we add handsets and network equipment, the industry is nearing the Trillion Dollar annual level, which is the rough size of the global automobile industry for example.
- There were 2.7 billion mobile phone subscriptions at the end of last year - twice as many as fixed landline phones in the world; twice as many people have a mobile phone as have a credit card; almost twice as many as have a TV set; three times as many mobile phones in the world as all PCs in use, meaning all laptops, desktops and servers combined. For the most ubiquitous device, a mobile phone is the most widely spread technology on the planet.

- They sell almost 1 billion phones per year.
- the phone replacement cycle is down to 18 months compared with 42 months for personal computers.
- New growth in mobile is much in the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China) and Africa is the next big market.
- European mobile phone penetration is at over 105% per capita (and still growing), leading countries like Taiwan, Hong Kong, Israel and Italy are at 125% per capita (and still growing). America has reached 80% penetration and is nowhere near saturation.
- The rapid replacement also means very volatile tastes by a fickle buying public.

Generation C (Community Generation) prefer mobile
- they love their Playstation Portables and iPods but the number one gadget for any kid is the mobile phone.
- 48% of UK teenagers admit to sending text messages while talking to another person
- 37% admit to avoiding contacts by their parents made to their phone ie the kids screen the calls and don't answer sometimes if the parent calls.
- More than half of Belgian teenagers have awoken at night to an incoming text message from friends; 20% regularly do.
- 39% of British under 14 year olds use their phone as a toy (in playing).
- But for all its addiction to the mobile phone, please don't assume Gen-C is exclusively on mobile, Generation Community is exceptionally aware of multiple overlapping networks and will optimize. Mobile may be most important, but mobile is not their only channel. On the other hand, the top 10% of British students send over 100 text messages every day; in South Korea already 30% of students average over 100 text messages daily.

- the most used data application on the planet, with more than 1.8 billion people using SMS text messaging
- twice as many active users as email users on the internet
- 99% of all mobile phones able to receive SMS text messages today
- reach more than 3 times larger audience via SMS than you can via email.
- the most addictive of any communication tools - as addictive in fact as cigarette smoking.
- SMS texting is worth over 80 Billion dollars worldwide and generates 90% profit.
- Brits send 6 SMS per person, South Koreans send 10, Singaporeans 12 and the Philippinos 15 SMS text messages on average every day.

Most advanced mobile
- The countries with most advanced mobile services are South Korea and Japan.
- highest sustained broadband speeds.
- lowest costs of broadband
- South Korea and Japan lead the rest of the world in the mobile internet experience.
- In South Korea half of all music sold is not only digital (like under 10% in the USA is on iTunes) but in South Korea 45% of all music is sold directly to musicphones.
- In Japan 54% of consumers willingly accept advertising to mobile phones, and the ads are so compelling that 44% of Japanese consumers actively click on ads.
- Japan is already reporting further that total amount of internet use is more frequent on mobile than on PCs; and that while sales of mobile continue to grow, Japan became the first industrialized country where PC sales turned into decline last year - as more and more Japanese consumers now migrate to the mobile internet.
- It is important to note, that both Japan and South Korea are not the most evolved mobile telecoms countries, as still today, their mobile phone penetration rates are below the industrialized world average.

Most evolved countries
- the leading markets for mobile phones changing society continue to the Nordic countries, Finland, Norway, Sweden and Denmark.
- Italy, Israel, Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong are also very advanced in how much society is changing due to mobile; with UK, Austria, Portugal, Netherlands very closely following those. For example, 54% of Helsinki public transportation single tickets to the trams and subways are paid by mobile; Finnish libraries and dentist offices etc send alerts to their customers via SMS. Singapore decided last year that all e-government initiatives will be enabled via mobile phone (and accessed by SMS). But innovative countries in mobile are all over - in Slovenia all vending machines, all taxis, all McDonald's restaurants etc accept payment by mobile. In South Africa you can have your full paycheck sent to you onto your mobile phone.

Mobile Internet
- The fixed internet is 13 years old, reaches 1.1 billion internet users generating an enormous amount of traffic on free sites, but the content industry on the fixed internet is worth $25 billion.
- The fixed internet derives its greatest paid content revenues from adult entertainment and gambling.
- The mobile internet is only 8 years old, reaches a potential of 2.7 billion users with mobile content generating $31 billion.
- the largest paid mobile content categories are music and social networking on mobile.
- The mobile data industry is not only more mature or "healthy."

Media migration to mobile
- sic industry clearly is migrating now to mobile
- music sold on mobile is 8 times larger than all music sold online including iTunes
- Videogaming is migrating to mobile (videogames already generate 50% more revenues than videogaming on the internet/broadband).
- Virtual societies, social networking, digital communities - is already twice the size on mobile as on fixed internet.
- Magazines, newspapers are migrating towards mobile.
- TV and radio will be on mobile.
- Advertising is discovering mobile. Hollywood movies see their future on the fourth screen (mobile) and now even the books publishing/printing industry is witnessing a move to mobile.

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