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A One Tera Euro industry

Week 07, 2009

Many areas in the Mobile Communication Industry are less prone to be affected by the global economic downturn. For instance, it is proved that during crisis people tend to consume more entertainment. The ability from the mobile communication industry to provide entertainment on the move will be essential in to develop this segment of the industry, and to demonstrate revenue generation from it.

As mobile communication already has 4 billion users, the industry is in search of the next billion customers. This will trigger an industrial creation movement where all mobile network operators suppliers will have to adapt their products to less affluent customers, by redesigning products and making them evolve to serve the needs of these new markets. Redesigning to cut costs is always a great source of creativity, and at the end is profitable to everyone.

At the same time, mobile network operators looking to increase the ARPU (Average Revenue Per Unit) are increasingly developing new services in order to grow the income they get from their existing customer base. We may end up with a more polarized market with more spread between low end and high end mobile communication products and services. Both ends of the market will trigger creativity and bring new developments to the industry.

Also government decisions may end up being profitable for the mobile communication industry. For instance, licenses evolutions in the US or 3G launch in China will boost infrastructure suppliers at first, and then handsets and SIM deliveries.

Even during crisis times, the will to develop new applications and to go beyond a “voice pipe” or even a “data pipe” role for mobile network operators is the best trigger to make the industry evolve. This evolution will go through the development of new services.  Among these new services, of course, we, the secure transactions industry, have a major interest in all forms of convergence between mobile communication and payment services we stand at the crossroads between mobile communication and payment. We have no doubt many of the numerous ongoing NFC pilots will develop into full blown applications, some of them taking off during 2009.

However, there is an indication the mobile communication industry is not at its best: there are still hotel rooms available in Barcelona for next week!

Thierry Spanjaard

Chief Editor

Smart Insights