Supersaturated Mobile Markets Ready to Cool, Researcher

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Supersaturation is a term that we often hear in chemistry, but did you know that it can also be applied to mobile markets? According to the research group iSuppli, the mobile subscriber growth rates have been topping 25 percent over the last three years, and that breakneck pace is simply unsustainable, and the market may be ready for some cooling. The group called for a more modest growth level of 12.8 percent in the current year, and gains of 9.6 percent in 2008, 7 percent in 2009, and 5.7 percent in 2010. These numbers may seem small, but they are in line with what experts consider to be healthy growth rates.

The iSuppli figures show that in 2006, North America scored a penetration level of 93.2 percent. Meanwhile, South Korea and Japan pulled levels of 83.2 percent and 74.2 percent, respectively. Other estimates peg the Asian markets with far greater levels, even surpassing 100 percent, though the underlying conclusion is largely the same. What this means is that the mobile market has reached a point where almost everyone who wants a mobile phone already has one. Therefore, it is becoming increasingly difficult for mobile operators to keep up with the high growth rates of the past years.

The iSuppli report appears bearish, though mobile device and subscriber saturation is just one part of the game. Mobile entertainment hawks are pushing a number of concepts, and aiming to increase the number of existing mobile subscribers that dabble in non-voice options. And by 2010, the market for music, video, and gaming content will expand to nearly $36 billion, up from $7.7 billion in 2005, according to iSuppli. This is a significant increase, and it shows that there is still great potential for growth in the mobile market.

However, the road to those billions, in music and other arenas, will be rocky indeed. Even new mobile content services are in a constant state of flux, with ringtones already having peaked, ringback tones gaining momentum, and mobile TV services just debuting worldwide, the research report asserts. This means that mobile operators need to be agile and adaptable to keep up with the changing demands of their customers.

The challenge for mobile operators is to find new revenue streams in a market that is becoming increasingly saturated. To do this, they need to focus on providing new and innovative services that go beyond traditional voice and data plans. Mobile entertainment is one area that has the potential to drive growth in the years to come. However, to be successful, mobile operators need to understand their customers’ needs and preferences and tailor their offerings accordingly.

In conclusion, while the mobile market may be ready for some cooling, there is still great potential for growth in the years to come. Mobile entertainment is one area that will drive growth, but success will depend on mobile operators’ ability to adapt to changing customer demands and preferences. In this fast-paced and constantly evolving market, agility and adaptability will be the key to success.

Report by news analyst Alexandra Osorio.