Research Notes

Have you considered how the mobile broadband market will develop in the next 3-4 years?

The development of the mobile broadband market has taken many market players by surprise and up to now there has only a few attempts at describing this market and how it will develop in the future.
In Strand Consults new report “Successful Strategies on the Mobile Broadband Market”, that examines and analyses the changes currently happening on the mobile broadband market, we have described five development phases that we expect the mobile broadband market will experience:
Phase I: Access for mobile corporate customers
Phase II: The young and innovative on the move
Phase III: PCs used for mobile communication and machine to machine communication 
Phase IV: Mass-market – everyone has mobile broadband
Phase V: Renewal and fragmentation of the market

Phase I: In the phase “Access for mobile corporate customers”, many companies will have an increasing desire for mobility and this will not just be giving mobile telephones to employees, but giving employees access to business critical data regardless of where they are. A typical example would be sales/service personnel that will have access to e-mail and information from the company.
But all types of employees that are on the move can take advantage of having mobile Internet access allowing them to communicate with their company, customers, partners and each other. In this phase a great number of employees will therefore be equipped with mobile Internet and companies will benefit from the gains they thereby achieve.
Phase II: In the phase “The young and innovative on the move” mobile Internet will start being used by people moving around town and that are generally out and about at cafes, visiting friends, studying etc. This will primarily be the youth segment that adopts mobile Internet and perceives it is it as a natural part of their daily life. Some may not even have a fixed line Internet connection at home, but only use their mobile based Internet access.
Phase III: In the phase “PCs used for mobile communication and machine to machine communication” the use of mobile Internet access by the young “trendsetters” from phase II will spread to all age groups – especially due to the significantly growing penetration of portable PCs. Having mobile broadband on their PC will become just as common for all age groups as having WiFi communication and portable PCs will be sold with built-in mobile broadband.
But mobile broadband will not only be used for interaction between people. Machines will also be connected to the Internet via mobile broadband solutions, rather than by traditional broadband solutions, or as a supplement. For example cars will be able to be computer-controlled to a far greater extent than today and be able to communicate with the outside world. Another interesting area is energy equipment that will be able to transmit energy consumption data directly to the energy company.
Phase IV: In the phase “Mass-market – everyone has mobile broadband” the mobile broadband market will start to become saturated. The mobile broadband market will then be very similar to today’s mobile market – all customers will have a mobile telephone and a mobile broadband solution. In this phase, fixed line Internet connections will become an old-fashioned curiosity, in the same way as dial-up Internet via a PSTN modem has become, and mobile broadband will be the new standard.
But when everybody has a mobile broadband connection, the market will move from being focused on acquiring new mobile broadband customers to holding on to existing customers – which will initiate the next phase.
Phase V: In the phase “Renewal and fragmentation of the market” the saturated market will force mobile broadband providers to change their strategy from acquiring customers that have not yet purchased a mobile broadband connection, to acquiring existing customers from their competitors. There will therefore be a far greater use of micro-segmentation, which will fragment the market in the same way that the mobile market has become fragmented today.
The market will also change technologically, as it will no longer only be PCs, mobile telephones and machines (M2M) that will be online via mobile broadband, mobile broadband will also be used in dedicated units for e.g. location determination, games or tours etc. A great number of new types of services will therefore emerge that can take advantage of the mobile Internet connections that everyone will already be carrying.
This phase could result in the realisation of the NGN philosophy, where for example also speech will become packet-based and can be transported by any type of network.
The development we have already seen on this market – and most probably will see in the future – is in many ways very reminiscent of what we have seen on the mobile market, with the difference that everything is developing far more quickly and prices are dropping far more drastically, before penetration has become particularly high.
If you want to be successful on this market there is no doubt that the market player that best predicts the future market development will most probably be the market player that ends up with the best prerequisites to win all five phases.
We have thoroughly examined and analysed these – and many other issues – in our new report “Successful Strategies in the Mobile Broadband Market“. The report is therefore an efficient tool for mobile broadband providers in their efforts to create and implement an optimal strategy.

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