2008 will be a year where mobile customers benefit from a range of key service and technology developments. Social networks, flat rate charging, and products which are far easier to use will be the major themes in the mobile market, according to the Mobile Data Association (MDA). The MDA gave its predictions on the defining trends for 2008 at its annual Analyst Forum in London, held last week.
2008 is likely to bring the flat rate tariffs that consumers and businesses have been seeking for some considerable time, says Rob Bamforth, Principal Analyst with Quocirca. In addition, devices that work at a level of adequate ease are likely to be a major area of focus. Its not just about adding ever more features, its about giving users what they truly want, and thats ease of usefulness.
The MDA also forecast key mobile industry data for 2008, and outlined a series of key market and technology trends which it expects to see during the year.
It predicts that the worldwide cellular subscriber base will reach 3.75 billion by year end 2008. The UK will account for 75 million of the global figure, but more significantly, voice users will go increasingly mobile. Text messaging volumes in the UK will reach 60 billion for the whole of 2008.
On the technology front, the MDA believes that 5GB storage will become more standard in devices during 2008. Bluetooth adoption will head towards 2 billion worldwide, opening up new application channels, particularly Health/Social Care. There will be major activity surrounding the Olympics as UK observers seek to learn lessons from Beijing 2008, including mobile ticketing, Mobile TV, and the use of user-generated content. 3G coverage will grow, with HSDPA/HSUPA/wi-fi additions offering more choice of mobile digital access and downloadable content.
Paul Lee, Director, Deloitte Research: Technology, Media and Telecommunications comments:
Designing mobile devices from the ground up to be easier to use should pay handsome dividends for the mobile industry. The challenge isn't to have the most technology in each phones. What's more important is to incorporate functionality that's relevant to each category of user."