Theme-based content will drive mobile data adoption in Western Europe, says IDC

LONDON, ENGLAND – JUNE 9, 2006 – Focusing services around specific events or themes will play an influential role in users embracing mobile data services, according to IDC research. Therefore, the idea is for operators to use themes and/or events to gain users' acceptance and thus create stickiness.

However, the challenge will always be to bring those customers back/repeat usage, and this will ultimately depend on quality of service and how intuitive the user experience is.

"Major sporting events will provide the mobile community with the opportunity to promote mobile data services," said Paolo Pescatore, EMEA research manager, Consumer European Wireless and Mobile Communications. "In Western Europe, the 2006 FIFA Soccer World Cup will be a great showcase to show users the power of mobile and will set an example for future sporting events."

To date, the main delivery mechanism has been SMS. Pescatore believes that new forms of delivery such as MMS video, video downloads, mobile TV, and WAP/JAVA based services will present operators with the best chance of demonstrating to users the value that data can provide them. The World Cup will be a showcase to migrate users to these innovative and savvy ways of receiving information. It is also a showcase for the industry to demonstrate how rich and interactive content has become over mobile.

Some of the other areas of opportunity include:

— Off-portal activity, which is on the industry's mind. IDC expects an array of content being offered. The need and demand for user-generated content allowing users to personalize and share has proven to be a great driver over the fixed Internet. The mobile community needs to find ways of making this as seamless as possible over mobile. In particular, blogging, networking, and mobile searches will be the main uses.

— Adult content, which has traditionally always generated significant revenues because it sells, so in the mobile market, players will aim to cash in and place a premium on content. The premium will be of a higher nature for content relating to videos and mobile TV services than for pictures and images, for example.

The IDC document, Theme-Based Content to Drive Mobile Data in Western Europe (Doc #HW59N, June 2005), looks at developments of event and theme-based content in the European mobile market. In particular, this insight focuses on certain themes such as sport, adult content, and the creation of communities.

To purchase this document, contact your nearest IDC office or visit .

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