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Content drives growth in mobiles

Posted: 21 Feb 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:W-CDMA mobile communication? 3G ABI Research? fixed mobile convergence? mobile content delivery? mobile content?

Content will be the next growth driver for the mobile communications market. And the business mix of mobile operators and mobile content providers will highlight the delivery of data-heavy mobile content services in the future.

In Q4 2006, there were over 100 million W-CDMA subscribers around the world. According to ABI Research Asia-Pacific research director Jake Saunders, "The W-CDMA subscriber sector is moving particularly fast, growing 102 percent y-o-y and 16.6 percent q-o-q."

3G subscribers deliver an ARPU that is 5-20 percent greater than the average. The period of Q2 2004 to Q2 2006 proved to be challenging for operators, as competition pushed down on ARPU while additional revenue streams from non-voice apps failed to compensate.

"Operators are now looking to YouTube Mobile, Jamster and Warner Music for content to excite and entertain consumers," Saunders explained. "Messaging platforms such as Research In Motion's BlackBerry devices and enterprise solutions are driving up data traffic and non-voice revenue contributions."

Non-voice now represents between 15-29 percent of operator service revenue, depending on the market. Of that, mobile Internet downloads and data contribute 3-17 percent of total service revenue. Operators are striving to lock down entertainment content, including broadcast network syndicated shows and user-created material that allows an operator to differentiate itself and reduce churn.

Fixed mobile convergence (FMC) and substitution are also giving mobile operators a lift. Minutes of use (MoU) are growing across all markets, except in Japan, where high dependency on messaging applications has been absorbing some of those minutes. In general, average MoU grew 1.8 percent y-o-y, according to ABI Research.

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