1 - 15 August, 2003

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Europeans spent $ 550 Mill on high value mobile transactions



Recent analysis about the mobile transactions and revenues derived from the so-called mobile content and services in Europe showed that Europeans spent last year more than 550 Million. This figure represented more than twice spent via the PC (content services).

In the same study, forecasts predict a high growth of revenues (i.e., transactions) for the coming years considering the consumer projected spending for mobile content, showing always a higher rate than fixed PC consumption.

The surprise derives from the fact that people spend more on content services than expected considering the low interest demonstrated on WAP and mobile internet as a concept. In fact, we are only talking about SMS: ringing tones, logos, specific content like weather forecast, stock alerts.

In fact, it's not that big a surprise. Nobody is going to doubt nowadays about the SMS success. Tariffs have been always competitive (at least compared to mobile phone calls) and a new culture around mobile messages have arisen including a new vocabulary, new ways of dating, etc. Even mid-age people votes now via SMS to throw out the less interesting participant during the Big Brother TV show.

Simplicity is the success... it consists only on writing the name of the person, and send it to a particular short number that appears constantly on the TV: the spectator have taken part of the program. Others prefer to send a message only because his message will appear in the TV: my minute of glory.

Talking from a mobile portal perspective with presence in different European countries -each one showing different market and cultural characteristics-, to follow the evolution of mobile services per country is not only curious (and a must) but also didactical. Number of transactions in all markets show a direct relation with the simplicity of the task, mainly the interface, and the payment capabilities. The easier the process, the bigger the amount of transactions.

SMS content will continue growing and new emergent technologies (EMS, MMS...) will begin to grow incorporating new revenue streams. We have learned a lot from the past, but we will have to tune the billing approach for some of the new services. The success and quick adoption of the new technologies, as well as the growth of new multimedia applications are also involved.

Mobile commerce and mobile internet revolution has not begun yet. The real revolution is still to come, and the number of high value transactions will explode. It's very probable it will take more time than expected (cultural barriers and the current economical situation do not provide the best environment to speed up the adoption) but there is no doubt about the final market explosion.



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