Mobile Data Use Takes Off….sort of

The mobile telecommunications landscape is changing rapidly and it’s being driven by a host of broad tectonic shifts. One of those shifts is the rapid adoption and use of mobile internet/data services. For the past several years mobile operators have watched their data revenue grow to where it now represents upwards of 25% of their total revenue.

A number of factors are contributing to this growth:

1. Rapid adoption of smart phones – this is probably the single biggest driver of mobile internet use. The two largest players (RIM & Apple) are driving this growth and shaping the user experience. Apple’s iPhone has given neophyte users a rich user experience that borders on the surreal. The ease of use and wide selection of mobile applications has truly transformed the mobile experience. Apple’s seamless integration of iTunes, iTouch and iPhone products have enhanced the user capabilities.

2. Fundamental change in communication – social networking and personal publishing have created new platforms for consumers/users to communicate with a wider audience. Real-time has also become the new dimension for people to reach their target audience.

3. Faster networks – uncongested 3G networks are making it more attractive for users to shift internet use from the desktop to the mobile device without giving up much in the way of usability. You can access just about all the same information that is available on your desktop now on your mobile device. Also the rapidly expanding access to free wi-fi networks in most major cities is also making it more economic for users to stay connected.

4. Extensive application selection – with over 90,000 to choose from on the Apple iPhone it’s no wonder that consumers are able to find and make effective use of their mobile device. One that I can’t seem to live without is ‘WherZ Timmy’ which gives me the location to the nearest Tim Horton’s, Starbucks, gas station or bank wherever I am. Having these tools at your finger tips certainly makes life easier.

What does all this mean? Businesses need to think about how to adapt their message for the mobile environment and be where the consumer is. If you can’t be there in real-time then you risk losing the sale or making a connection with that potential customer who is evaluating your service.

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