In the survey, conducted by wireless analyst firm mobileSQUARED, operators were asked to choose what they thought would be the top five most popular forms of communication in 2015. While 94% of operators believe that social networking will be the most popular form of communication by 2015, 87% and 81% of operators believe messaging and voice (respectively) will continue to play an important role in communications, predicting that they will remain in the top three most heavily used forms of communication in 2015. The study also revealed that these forms of communication will be complemented rather than replaced by rising mobile internet usage, particularly from mobile social networking. The results show that mobile social networking will not only be primarily responsible for the continuing rise in mobile internet usage in the future, but it will be elevated to one of the core forms of communication.
Clearly, this increased use of mobile internet-based services will add pressure to existing operator networks. As a result of this trend the survey also revealed that operators are keen to ensure increases in traffic do not negatively impact their networks. 74% of operators believe that network quality will be critical to fostering loyalty with subscribers.
Looking to the future of innovation, the survey also asked mobile operators what they felt would be key drivers of innovation in messaging. Entertainment led the responses with 65% of operators believing that entertainment-based applications and services would act as a catalyst for messaging growth. Following entertainment, 48% of respondents selected healthcare while 36% cited education and finance. In emerging markets, innovation in messaging is most likely to be driven by mobile financial services, mobile health and mobile education-based initiatives. It is in these regions, such as Africa and the Middle East, where mobile phones are being used not only as communications tools but also as catalysts for social change.
In addition, operators believe that in developed markets alternative forms of messaging will primarily be driven by enterprise services and machine-to-machine (M2M) messaging. 76% of operators feel enterprise services will be either important or extremely important, while 64% think the same is true for M2M messaging.
Jay Seaton, Chief Marketing Officer at Airwide Solutions commented, The survey has shown that while the mobile subscriber of the future is changing, its core mode of communication (text and voice) is likely to remain the same. Traditional forms of messaging will not be replaced. In fact, services such as SMS are becoming an integral part of social networking, and they will also underpin future innovation, particularly in areas such as mobile entertainment, mobile financial services, mobile healthcare and mobile education.
Key Survey Findings
- – 94% of operators believe that social networking will be the most popular form of mobile communication in 2015.
– 87% and 81% of operators expect that messaging and voice (respectively) will follow social networking in the top three of most heavily used forms of communication in 2015.
– The time users spend on mobile web sites is expected to increase from less than one minute per day to in excess of 10 minutes. This increase in mobile internet usage will place additional pressure on operator networks to guarantee excellent network quality for subscribers, with 74% of operators believing network quality will be key to fostering loyalty with their subscribers.
– Innovation in messaging will be led by entertainment, with 65% of operators stating that the area will inspire the advancement of messaging.
– Alternative forms of messaging will be primarily driven by enterprise services and machine-to-machine (M2M) messaging. 76% of operators believe enterprise services will be either important or extremely important to the growth of messaging. 64% think the same is true for M2M.