Mobile broadband gaining traction
A small survey of about 100 Mobile World Congress attendees conducted by SurfKitchen confirmed that mobile Internet services are poised for mainstream adoption. One third of attendees surveyed stated that their mobile Internet usage has more than doubled over the last year, with 67 percent currently relying on WAP and mobile Internet browsers to access mobile Web and data services.
Of those surveyed, 90 percent indicated that that they have increased their mobile Internet usage in the last year with the highest percentage of respondents citing email as the most popular service, followed by Internet browsing and news service. Of the minority that indicated their mobile Internet usage has not increased, one third reported discoverability and navigation to be the key barriers to adoption.
“One look at the news from Mobile World Congress shows that the industry is focused on the delivery of mobile Internet services and applications,” said Michel Quazza, chief executive officer, SurfKitchen. “While our survey is only based on a relatively small sample, it is notable that traditional access models are still used by the majority of consumers to access mobile Internet and data services.”
The potential of mobile applications stores has been a focus of the show in Barcelona and respondents of the survey who already use applications and widgets to access mobile Internet services reported speed, ease-of-use and choice as the core benefits over traditional access methods of WAP and mobile Internet browsers.
The survey results echo a recent Informa Telecoms & Media report that predicted annual data services will more than double from $148 billion dollars in 2007 to $347 billion dollars in 2013. The barriers identified by MWC attendees also matched recent industry research by Forrester Research that found that discoverability and usability are still presenting challenges to the industry.