The number of subscribers using mobile Internet services will rise from 577 million currently, to top 1.7bn by 2013, spurred by demand for collaborative applications known collectively as ‘web 2.0', and greater 2.5/3G penetration, according to a new report from Juniper Research..
Established mobile players face increasing competition from web-based brands and will have to adapt their commercial strategies to accommodate greater collaboration with other members of the value chain, if future revenue growth in the mobile web 2.0 space is to be achieved, says Juniper.
According to the report, the emergence of applications such as: Social networking; User Generated Content (UGC); Instant Messaging (IM); Location Based Services (LBS); Search calls for delivery of the mobile Internet as it was originally conceived - i.e. an open environment in which users are able to share, collaborate and exploit content/information without any one party controlling the value chain.
This marks a fundamental shift for the industry towards the D2C (direct-to consumer) model and places growing pressure on mobile network operators (MNOs) and handset manufacturers in particular, to relinquish some of their control over the value chain, by opening up their networks/devices to third-parties.
"Major web players have already crossed the Rubicon and established themselves in the mobile domain, placing the onus on MNOs and other members of the value chain to form innovative relationships and grab a share of the new revenue streams being created," comments Ian Chard, Juniper Research Analyst and author of the report.
"The mobile web 2.0 market is still nascent and business models remain in a state of flux, so there is still time for players to establish fruitful partnerships that build on their strengths and are reciprocally beneficial. The window of opportunity, however, is closing."