More sociable, cheaper and easier to use – The Mobile Data Association (MDA) studies the mobile landscape for 2008
2008 will be a year where mobile customers benefit from a range of key service and technology developments. Social networks, flat rate charging, and products which are far easier to use will be the major themes in the mobile market, according to the Mobile Data Association. At its annual ‘Future of Mobile’ Conference in London, the MDA and independent industry experts gave their predictions on the defining trends for next year.
“2008 is likely to bring the flat rate tariffs that consumers and businesses have been seeking for some considerable time,” commented Rob Bamforth, principal analyst with Quocirca. “In addition, devices that work at a level of ‘adequate ease’ are likely to be a major area of focus – it’s not just about adding ever more features, it’s about giving users what they truly want, and that’s ease of usefulness.”
The Mobile Data Association has also forecast key mobile industry data for 2008, and expects a series of key market and technology trends to be visible during the year.
Among the market trends to watch in 2008, the MDA forecasts:
The worldwide cellular subscriber base will reach 3.75 billion by year end 2008.
The UK will account for 75 million of the global figure, but more significantly voice users will go increasingly mobile.
Text messaging volumes in the UK will reach 60 billion for the whole of 2008.
The MDA believes the key technology developments for 2008 will include:
5GB storage wil become more standard in devices.
Bluetooth adoption will head towards 2 Billion worldwide - opening up new Application channels for 2008 Particularly Health / Social Care and wirefree headsets.
Mobile TV based on dual mode cellular / DVB-H will be launched throughout Europe, but not in the UK, due to regulatory delays.
There will be major activity surrounding the Olympics as UK observers seek to learn lessons from Beijing 2008, including, ticketing, Mobile TV, use of User Generated Content.
3G coverage will grow, with HSDPA/ HSUPA / Wifi additions offering more choice of Mobile Digital Access and downloadable content.
Paul Lee, Director, Deloitte Research: Technology, Media and Telecommunications commented, "Designing mobile devices from the ground up to be easier to use should pay handsome dividends for the mobile industry. The challenge isn't to have the most technology in each phones. What's more important is to incorporate functionality that's relevant to each category of user."