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Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Data is Mobile Operators' Choice

I see it as spam - mobile operators tend to disagree with me. What am I talking about? The solicitation of subscribers to subscribe to value added services. It is big business, not only in India - and forced onto the companies by declining average revenue per user (ARPU) - which, again, is a function of increasing penetration of mobile usage in the different markets.

In order to make up for this - analysts tend to look at those ARPU rates) - mobile operators start looking at other sources which can be sold to subscribers at higher prices. And how to get those subscribers? Flood them with offers. In German, mobile operator Debitel sent SMS spam to subscribers of competitor Telmore trying to get them to switch providers. Poor subscribers - but this follows an earlier story already.

In most countries, such as India, the contribution of MMS services to the total revenue generation is still small. "SMS took up 70 percent of the non-voice revenues for the operators while MMS took up only around 2 percent. The report said that SMS was expected to remain the biggest contributor to the overall revenues of non-voice market in the near future. MMS services have not yet picked up as expected because of lack of handsets and high cost of service." But what is growing is the download of polyphonic tones - so keep watching out for those ringtones!

They will become more prevalent - and I think that the spamming will become more prevalent as well, once the market becomes saturated.

(By Asia Business Consulting)