The world of mobile communications is not a trend, but a phenomenon. The mobile communication industry is one of the most flourishing sectors within the ICT industry. On the supply side, firms compete by offering different kinds of services typically through proprietary networks, in which they invest in terms of capacity and coverage. On the demand side, consumers are highly heterogeneous in terms of willingness to pay and modes of service usage.
The rapid uptake of mobile technology in the last decade is an outstanding phenomenon that has changed the society. Mobile subscriber growth continues with the emerging markets leading the way. While the industry is coping with a number of key issues, including the economic downturn, saturation of developed markets and spectrum concerns – it is still expected that in 2011 there will be over 5 billion mobile subscribers worldwide.
Some of the latest facts and figures:
�According to IDC, The mobile sector is now a $850 billion global market, comprising 57 percent of the global telecom market.
�The resilient mobile industry is growing despite the challenges and overall global mobile revenues are predicted to reach over $1 trillion around 2012. MVNO subscribers will account for around 2-3% of all mobile subscribers worldwide in 2010.
�China is the world’s largest mobile communications market. The Middle East contains some of the highest penetration rates in the world led by the UAE, which has passed the 200% mark. Growth rates remain astonishingly high in the light of these figures.
�Handset sales rebounded in Q4 2009, recording a positive growth of at least 10%..
�In 2010 there will be an estimated 3.5 billion prepaid subscribers worldwide with the majority of prepaid users residing in Asia Pacific. .
�Mobile market penetration in Africa is expected to pass 50% during 2010; at least seven countries have broken the 100% barrier.
�The wireless industry in North America continues to be one of the fastest growing markets in telecommunications, despite the economic downturn.
�The MVNO market has also witnessed a shift away from traditional business models as operators and new market entrants’ trial models based on niche markets including data services, music services, health services, luxury services and low price services (including the prepaid market).
Mobile communications services originated from voice telephony. However, the cellular phone market, when measured in terms of the number of wireless devices, is becoming saturated at a rather rapid pace. In short, there can be no significant increase in traffic merely through voice telephony. In view of this limitation, there appear to be two viable strategies to achieve growth in mobile communications: (i) implementation of new mobile services with an array of diverse multimedia applications, and (ii) the introduction of new wireless devices with enhanced features, including direct device-to-device communications capabilities.
The technologies which might bring new abilities to the mobile devices would be Near Field Communications (mPayments, mBanking) focusing on contactless payments, advertising, marketing. Mobile phone-based contactless payments will facilitate over $36 billion of worldwide consumer spending by 2011 .
Companies like Simage Technologies are one of the mobile communication service provider in Middle East and African region.