Mobile outlook still strong

Technology research firm Ovum says despite the economic downturn, mobile data services will continue to grow and reach record highs.

The group predicts that by 2013, the market will see 5.63 billion connections, up 43% from 2008. But the group expects prepaid contracts to constitute 73% of connections in the same year, up from 70% in 2008.

Revenue in the sector will reach $1.1 trillion, up 23% from 2008. But Steven Hartley, senior analyst at Ovum, says mobile groups must continue to ensure they are operating on low average revenue per user levels to sustain growth.

“As a result of the growing importance of emerging markets, a shift in the global balance of operator power is expected. An increasing share of customers in emerging markets will go to the new, rapidly expanding players such as Zain and Orascom. The result will be a raft of new, large scale global players by 2013.

“Today’s European-based giants will face increasingly intense competition from equally large or larger competitors at both global and local levels. Efficiency and maximising synergies from their scale will be the critical success factor for both the old and new heavyweights.”

But it isn’t all good news.

“We do not believe that many operators will be successful in providing content. Players from the internet domain will be better placed, so demand from the operator will be for access.”

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