Mobile firms urged to diversify services
Nov 22, 2012 (Bangkok Post - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
Mobile operators should reinvent the industry by investing more in ultra-high-speed networks to improve efficiency in providing analytic and online services through cloud computing technology.
The move would help widen revenue sources and increase profit in the mobile internet era, according to global technology company IBM.
Rob van den Dam, global telecom leader of IBM, said consumers in emerging countries including those in the Asia-Pacific region have potential to spend 11% more for mobile broadband services than they do now.
By comparison, budgets in mature markets or developed countries will contract by 15% due to economic hardship.
By 2015, there will be 200 million mobile broadband subscribers in Asia-Pacific, up from 15 million this year, turning the region into the world's biggest market.
Average revenue per user in emerging economies is about US$5 per month, mainly from voice and SMS text messaging services.
However, revenue tends to decline as more consumers turn to social networks and internet-based messaging services for communication.
Based on a study by Ovum, mobile operators may face up to $54 billion in lost revenue from SMS services in 2016 because of the growing popularity of messaging services on smartphones. The estimated loss this year is $23 billion.
Mr van den Dam suggested mobile operators invest in a new model by developing IT services. Telecom networks could adopt cloud computing and offer online services such as games and TV.
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