So, the questions that come to mind are: What will be the dominant model on the mobile? What will create the $30 billion global market opportunity in the next five years?
For the purpose of this discussion, we will leave aside the existing VAS industry which is many billions of dollars in size – and covers ringtones, wallpapers, games, CRBT and music. This has been the biggest success outside of voice and P2P SMS. We want to look at those models where the user does not pay (much) – these models are likely to be equally big if not bigger than the VAS industry today. They will fall largely into three buckets – subscriptions, advertising and transactions (as do all possible revenue streams). User Pays is what the mobile industry has capitalised on very well with its inherent microbilling characteristics. The question for discussion is what else can be created beyond this VAS 1.0 business?
The mobile has many interaction channels – voice, SMS, MMS, mobile web, downloaded apps, and later, video/mobile TV. Of these, there are only two which work on every device – voice and SMS. We will focus on just these two. (In the future, it is possible for the mobile web to become the dominant interaction point – but even in Europe with its advanced networks, less than 20% of the mobile user base uses the mobile web.) So, the first point is that for ubiquity on the mobile, one needs to use voice and SMS.
(To be continued tomorrow)