I will like to share with you what Wireless Expertise sees as the top 10 revenue opportunities in the coming years for the mobile value added services industry.
1. Messaging: While SMS is still growing in both developing and developed markets it has still a long way to go in terms of increasing application2peer revenues and integrating it with enterprise applications. However, many mobile operators have stopped innovating in this area and expect the SMS revenue gravy train to continue without putting any concerted efforts. As it has been proved in other domains such as mobile apps, third party application and content providers can benefit by taking the lead and developing vertical market services.
2. Mobile Payments: Consumers still have an appetite for purchasing digital content and services using premium SMS/WAP and now that tighter regulations have kicked out the subscription services cow boys it is the best time to enable payment services for higher value branded content. This market is still fragmented hence needs some more competition which can scale up to provide global services. We think that 2010 will see strong demand for mobile commerce.
3. Mobile Advertising & Marketing: This market is growing exponentially and has room for many more regional and vertical advertising networks. The mobile advertising sector is ripe with M&A activity and the big internet players are fighting for advertising real estate. However, it is still early days and the gold rush has just begun.
4. Digital Content: There is still a strong demand for music, games, videos and other value added services. This market may be going through some changes in Europe but developing markets of Asia, Africa and Latin America are still experiencing a higher consumption of such services. There is room for super retailers and copy right aggregators who can control regional markets.
5. Mobile Applications: Contrary to the sceptic chatter that mobile apps are a passing fad, the mobile apps market is still in its infancy and is on a high speed trajectory. The initial mobile apps are mere proof of concepts and extension of existing branded services. However, the real innovation is yet to begin and with smartphones gaining prominence on a global basis. Wireless Expertise expects smartphone pricing to come down and many new players to enter this market creating a new ecosystem for applications and services.
6. Social Networking, Chat & Dating: Social Networking is still growing with more specialist brands joining in and existing brands strengthening their product offerings. Brand and operators always shy away from admitting that chat services and dating are also big contributors to the rise of premium revenues.
7. Machine to Machine Messaging, Telematics and Telemetry: The transport, logistics and utility sector are investing heavily in mobile enabling their remote assets. However, there are very few credible application and network service providers for this sector. The demand is being catered via bespoke solutions which do not always scale up. There is room for new specialist vertical application providers and also cross geography network providers to join the market.
8. Voice Applications: Developing markets are experiencing great increases in revenues generated by voice applications and portals. While developed markets have gone cold on voice, voice applications are an unexploited opportunity and a new generation of downloadable and hosted apps are entering the market.
9. Location based services: This is a high growth market with a lot of demand and innovation. Augmented reality apps, mapping and navigation provide opportunities to integrate with existing enterprise and consumer applications. However, somebody needs to come up with a good business model that makes money and does not give away the services for free.
10. Mobile Broadband & 3G Applications: 3G services are growing with the increasing sales of dongles (3g modems / USB’s) and compatible handsets. However, the increase in 3G penetration has not yet seen a corresponding increase in applications, content and services which take advantage of the speed and access that 3G offers. We believe there is opportunity to build 3G specific services and generate untapped revenues.
This is just a snap shot of opportunities which can be exploited in 2010 but I am sure there are many more unexplored avenues which have slipped our list.