LONDON: Two studies surveying the mobile communications scene report growth this week. The first from Nielsen Online, Mobile Media, indicates that the mobile internet is growing eight times faster than traffic to the PC-based web – an inevitable scenario given the yawning gap between the two platforms' user bases.
Traffic on the UK mobile web increased by 25% to 7.3 million during the third quarter of this year, driven by the enthusiasm of a young demographic (16-24 years) which accounted for 25% of total usage. Conversely, just 12% were silver surfers aged over 55.
The most popular mobile destination is BBC News, attracting 1.7m unique users during the quarter.
Comments Nielsen senior analyst Kent Ferguson: "People often need fast, instant access to weather or sports news, and mobile can obviously satisfy this, wherever they are."
In the shorter term, however, the figures merit credence, being less reliant on long-range mathematical projection. IT&M forecasts that revenues in 2008 are expected to hit $1.5bn.
Over the next two years the fledgling medium is expected to enjoy substantial growth in South Korea and Japan, the rest of the planet being forecast to catch up in 2010-2011.Excepting Italy and Austria, Europe is not expected to see rapid growth in the mobile TV market until 2009, while this will be further delayed in the USA.
Says IT&M senior analyst Shailendra Pandey: "It seems that a good approach for mobile operators will be to start with a free-to-air business model which also involves minimum capital investment.
"Once user uptake of services starts to grow, operators can then think of developing new revenue models that can be established on top of the free-to-air content platforms."
Data sourced from mad.co.uk and M&M Global; additional content by WARC staff