Social Networking Drives Mobile Investment

    February 16, 2009

Three-quarters of mobile operators say they plan to invest in mobile social networking and mobile applications over the next 12 months, according to a study from Direct2Mobile conducted on behalf of Airwide Solutions.

Mobile broadband is not far behind with 65 percent of operators expecting to make investments over the next 12 months, followed by location-based services, IM based services and the mobile Internet.

Social networking is viewed by most operators as the main driver of both P2P and A2P consumers messaging volume. Operators want to capitalize on the success of social networking and ensure that SMS is the primary way for exchanging messages and delivering status updates on both mobile and fixed-Internet social networking sites.

Jay Seaton
Jay Seaton

Mobile broadband and location based services will also play a key role in future operator strategies with 50 percent indicating mobile broadband will play a very important role in expanding the messaging market and 50 percent and 37.5 percent expect location-based service to play a "very important" and "somewhat important" role respectively.

"Revenues from SMS have become a substantial and strategic income stream for mobile operators worldwide," said Jay Seaton, CMO at Airwide Solutions.

"However, recent market changes are placing an ever greater pressure on operators to deliver new and richer services that will not only complement voice and text services but also boost ARPU and help improve market share"