Mobile Content and Services (6th Edition)

16 April 2007


Although mobile data has been touted as being a key revenue driver for operators over the past few years, it is only now that the industry is really starting to see returns on the investments it has made in spectrum, infrastructure, content and services. Although for most operators the vast majority of their data revenues stem from messaging, i.e. SMS services, more and more users are purchasing non-messaging, premium content. Levels of growth have varied across regions and content types, with certain segments seeing shrinkage as user's tastes and desires evolve. However, the general trend for data consumption is an upward one.

What has changed significantly over the past 12-18 months is the introduction of a whole host of new players into the value chain. It is these companies that present the most credible threat to mobile operators, the control that they exert over the consumer and the range of content available to them. However the billing relationship operators have with customers marks them apart from other companies, still allowing them to exert significant levels of control over what content the majority of users have access to.


The mobile content and applications market is shown in Figure 1.1, and can be subdivided into two broad categories:

  • Mobile services (covering all of the consumer and business end-user facing services, plus the B2B services which are aimed at delivering these services via partnering and revenue sharing arrangements, and also location-based services which underpin a wide range of end-user services)
  • Enabling technology (this includes all of the supporting technology which makes the delivery of mobile services possible, and covers user interfaces and browsers, platform technology and messaging systems).


The term 'mobile data' has a number of different meanings to the different players involved in the delivery of mobile content and services, and takes on numerous variations depending on the task at hand.

This report defines the consumer sector as mobile subscribers that are personally responsible for paying services, either on a prepaid or a contract basis. Traditionally, consumer segment users have been considered low-value, high-volume customers for whom voice has been the driving mobile application. Business users have been traditionally viewed as high-value, low-volume customers for whom a mix of data and voice serves as the main driver.

The market does evolve, and although these distinctions are still applicable, there are certainly applications and services that are specifically designed for one or other of the two markets the degree of differences between the two segments is becoming far more indistinct. This is primarily a result of enhanced services and content becoming more widely accessed and adopted by both consumer and business users, such as mobile browsing and the use of location-based services for example.


The consumer sector accounts for the bulk of mobile content revenues, and includes messaging, mobile entertainment, mobile browsing, user-generated content and mobile commerce and payments.


The mobile enterprise sector shares some common features with consumer in that communications is an important part of any business-orientated service package. Mobile employees have an ongoing need to keep in touch with their home office, with other colleagues around the organisation (whether desk-based or mobile) and with contacts and customers outside the company. Alongside communications services, many companies also wish to provide secure access to company data such as sales records or contracts. Here, the requirement is for access to a company intranet or VPN, with suitable firewall protection and security measures in place. For the employee, this needs to be balanced with the need to access information quickly and easily, making the process as simple as possible.


Business-to-business services cover a wide range of activities, ranging from service delivery platforms through provision of content to specialist services such as advertising and payments. The common thread which joins all of them is the fact that they are not directly paid for by end users, but are value add services whose costs are passed on the final user, whether consumer or enterprise.

This is an extract from Mobile Content and Services Strategic Report.


Mobile Content and Services 6th edition addresses the evolving market with a comprehensive insight into significant developments. The report details new service and technology launches, strategies of the major players and operators, provides global industry forecasts and offers future roadmap scenarios.

For more information and a Table of Contents, click here.

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