Mobile Predictions for 2008 - 2009

Increasing numbers of people accessing the Internet on their mobile phones.

There are many more mobile phones than there are PCs today. Over 50 percent of the world’s population now has a mobile phone, according to Banga — “this amounts to some three billion mobile phones. It is estimated that there are 1.1 billion PCs.” As the majority of new phones come with Internet access as standard, “we envisage that by Q3 2009, more people will access the Internet on their mobile than through a PC.”

Mobile advertising surges ahead.

Mobile advertising is “a huge opportunity with the potential to generate in excess of $10 billion in annual revenues by 2010,” Bango officials believe, adding the caveat that “there are a number of factors holding it back, mainly the lack of analytics so advertisers can verify the results of their campaigns. Once this is solved and there’s an independent auditing process then mainstream brands will dip more than a toe into mobile advertising.”

Shift from messaging to Internet for data usage on mobile phones.

We already see more Web browsing, as operators have introduced flat-rate charging in 2007 and moved from a portal model to a more open search-based model. The new model encourages search by including the search box prominently on the portal home page. Bango believes “mobile search will become more like the PC-Internet experience, but the quality of mobile search index needs to improve dramatically to achieve mass market adoption.”

Mobile commerce of physical goods will come of age.

Buying travel tickets and basic consumables via the mobile Web has been popular in Japan and Korea and soon this will move to Europe and the U.S. This is possible in the Far East, Bango says, because the operator payout rates to content providers approach that of a credit card, so people are paying for physical goods on their phone bills. “At the moment, payout rates in Europe and the U.S. are too low, but as they begin to increase, so will the purchase of physical goods.”

The PC and mobile will become closely linked.

The two separate worlds of the PC and the mobile phone will come together, Bango officials think. “People will be able to connect their PC life with their mobile life much more easily. Anyone on Myspace, Facebook  (News - Alert) or Twitter, for example, will be able to share content and information with mobile phone users.”