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The Future in Mobile Applications (Part II)

Posted in Value added services and applications by Manas Ganguly on August 11, 2010

Continued from an earlier post

So what’s driving applications as the future of applications?

Operators need to re-cover costs and investments in 3G through data revenue.App centric business model drives higher profits for Telcos

The cost of advanced wireless networks and 3G infrastructure investments recovery by 3G operators are a negative drag on the balance sheets of customers.Very few companies have recovered their costs and investments in 3G business. More telling is the fact that the profitable operators have a significant play in the application business. The hyper-competition in the voice space isnt helping the cause either. The case study of NTT Docomo which pioneered the apps-centric model by offering iMode service with optional adds ons such as Osaifu-Keitai mobile wallet,i-motion multimedia services, i-area location-information services. Connectivity and high speed data transfers are sold as enablers of various i-Mode packages and not the as the principal offering.

Following the success of the Apple and Android Marketplace, operators are making a bee-line for apps stores. However, a thoughtless approach to Apps Stores can be more harmful than being just the dumb content carrier.

Understanding and meeting the needs of the emerging digital consumer may be the starting point of the journey towards mobile lifestyle enablement.

Users are demanding more and more applications

Consumers are increasingly taking to internet services. An example to this effect is 170 million application downloads in one month (November 2009). The ubiquity of mobile devices has driven adoption of internet based services. Consumer inspired innovation and a falling cost of acquisition of feature and smart-phones are the sub factors powering users adopting and accessing more and more services and applications through their mobile phones.

Mobile ubiquity will compensate for the functional limitations imposed by the small screens of handheld screens.this trend is already visible. Value added services account for almost 30% of telecom revenues in China and Japan and 20% in Europe.

Developer-innovator networks are lending impetus to applications
The robust demand for versatile mobile applications is matched by the push of developer networks that have proven their innovation potential on the internet. Leveraged effectively, these two forces create the suply and demand cycle that work in tandem to put an increasing number of innovative applications into the hands of end users faster than ever before.

All these trends point to a dramatic transformation in the role of the operator and a clear opportunity to lead the way with new applications and services are delivered to subscribers in an Internet-like “have it your way” model.

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