Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 05/14/2014 -- The Global Mobile industry faces diverse opportunities and challenges in 2014
The ongoing development of wireless services offers the telecoms industry the largest ray of hope for growth in 2014. Mobile subscriptions are expected to surpass the actual world population due to the number of multiple subscriptions held by consumers and the developing markets will continue to offer opportunities for further growth. However the wireless sector is not without its challenges with the rise of Over-The-Top (OTT) service providers the biggest threat to the traditional players going forward.
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We already see interesting developments occurring as a result of the OTT players. For example both mobile VoIP apps and mobile Instant Messaging (IM) are OTT services representing a potential threat to mobile operators' call revenues. Mobile VoIP has been under-development for a number of years and the offerings for these services have improved over time. Other forms of messaging beyond operator SMS are gaining ground as well, particularly free messaging services offered by social networks and free apps such as Whatsapp, for example.
It is expected that in the next couple of years;
the mobile operators will lose billions in lost revenue to these new messaging services. Mobile operators do need to take the rise of mobile VoIP and OTT Instant Messaging seriously and consider pricing strategies to combat the threat - as the cheaper alternatives are bound to sway many users towards such service offerings. SMS which traditionally accounted for around 80% of overall messaging revenue is expected to decline and by 2015 will account for only around 60%.
Customer satisfaction is increasingly important for service differentiation between the competing mobile operators and we recognise that retaining customers in this competitive and economic environment is challenging. Bearing in mind that the cost of acquiring customers is expensive;
reducing churn rates can offer significant savings to telcos. In addition, lowering roaming charges also encourages goodwill at both a regulatory and consumer level and lessens the chance of bill-shock. To improve the overall customer experience;
operators need to focus on utilising the enormous amounts of customer data they have on hand (Big Data) as well as implement real-time analytics.
The popularity of mobile devices including smart phones, touch-screen tablets and the emerging wearable technologies market continues to grow steadily. However despite its phenomenal growth - which will continue for many years to come - the smartphone is set to eventually become a utility product. This will first emerge in the developed markets, where smartphone penetration is the highest. In the developing markets where the smartphone is only in its infancy, cheap models from China and India are set to dominate the markets.
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