Here’s that wrap-up of all the interesting MWC mobile insights you were looking for


mobile devicesThe Mobile World Congress is not only a venue to do business (although this is a major focus), but it’s also is a place where lots of great data and insights about local and global mobile markets are revealed.  Here are three reports released during MWC offering interesting and useful insights about the mobile market:

I. The GSMA Mobile Economy 2013 Report

On day 1 of the MWC, the GSMA, which is the mobile industry’s big association and also the host of the show, released its comprehesive report and corresponding infographic on the state of the mobile market in the coming year (both available here).  Here’s some highlights from the report that I found particularly interesting:

Mobile ecosystem still growing and will continue to do so at a healthy clip:  The total global mobile ecosystem will attain cumulative revenues of $9.1 trillion between ’13-’17,growing at a CAGR of 5%. Interestingly, carriers will continue to make up the biggest chunk of this revenue as their cumulative revenues will hit $5.4 trillion, approximately 60% of total revenues.

Mobile data volumes are exploding:  In 2012 mobile data volumes, which was higher than all other years combined, hit .9 exabytes per month. In 2017, this number will be 11.2 exabytes per month!

NFC is rising fast:  NFC, a technology which enables payment, ticketing, and couponing on one device, is pretty much taking off around the globe.  Some key figures to remember are…
– 50% of all smartphones will be NFC enabled by 2015
– 50%+ of all spending via Visa in Europe in 2020 will be via a mobile device
– 300 million NFC enabled smartphones, tablets and ereaders will be sold in 2013
– $13 trillion in global mobile payments predicted by 2013

4G license sales big revenue generators for governments:  Governments across the EU are bringing in significant revenues from the sale of 4G licences: in 2011 Spain raised €1.65 billion,while France raised €3.5 billion and in 2010 the Netherlands brough in €3.8 billion . But these numbers dwarf in comparison to what India raised in it’s 2010 spectrum sale, $14.6 billion.

Deezer and Orange highlighted as OTT service deal done right:  The Deezer and Orange partnership is heralded in the paper as a good example where a major carrier was able to capitalize on value-added services trend (also known in the mobile world as ‘over the top’ or OTT services) and drive value for both parties.  As highlighted in the paper, the partnership with Orange helped overcome the consumer’s barriers to paying for services, driving a big jump in Deezer’s subscribers from 6k to 100k per month as of October 2012.  The Orange relationship has now also given Deezer more credibility, attracting other big-name partners such as Deutsche Telekom, Telenor and Millicom

Fewer French children accessing the internet via mobile devices than most other European markets:  Versus its European counterparts, in 2011 a much lower penetration of internet access via mobile devices amongst children (25% vs 34% on average in Europe). This is, however, a big jump vs the previous year (which was 13%).  I also suspect that given the big recent drop in tablet prices (thanks Android) and substantial growth in tablet sales in the second half of 2012, France may have reach the European average by now

II. Understanding the Role of Managed Public Wi-Fi in Smartphone User Experience sponsored by Mobidia

Mobidia regularly puts out compelling research about the mobile space. Much of the data for their research comes from the reams of rich data they acquire through their My Data Manager mobile usage analysis application. This year they teamed up with telecommunications research firm Informa to produce comprehensive report about public vs private wifi usage patterns.

As mentioned in the report, investment in public wifi (hotspots) saw unprecedented levels of investment in 2012.  Some of this investment has come from telcos, but a good chunk has come from big tech giants such as Google and Skype and, increasingly, startups such as Wavespot, Instabridge and PurpleWiFi,  The big takeaway is the regardless of all this investment and entry of newer, innovative players, public wifi adoption has been slow to take-off. Currently, almost all users (globally at around +90%) still heavily rely on private or unmanaged or self-provisioned public Wi-Fi hotspots,  This trend is pretty consistent around the world where in most countries, with perhaps the exception of Thailand where it’s a bit higher, the use of public wifi only accounts for a max of 5% of all wifi traffic.  As we well know in France, these ‘hotspots’ are notoriously unreliable, too localised and are plagued with security issues.  in addition, these hotspots are often operator specific which adds an additional barrier to consumers getting on board. So, it’s not a shock that public wifi has been so slow to take hold.  There’s definitely a need there, but apparently a lot of more work to be done until pubic wifi becomes ubiquitous.

The report is pretty dense with lots of good facts and figures, so you can download the full report here.  You can also take a look at Mobidia’s blog as they regularly post new mobile market insights and data there.

III. 3 key points about mobile in 2013 infographic by Smart + Ad Server

French ad service solutions company Smart + Ad released a nice infographic highlighting some key data trends. The three most interesting tidbits were:

Mobile traffic will equal that of desktop traffic in 2013 in key content categories:  Traffic from premium data publishers in sports and news, where traffic from mobile was just 11% in 2011, is expected to show an even split between these two categories in 2013.  It’s not a stretch to assume that mobile content will surpass desktop in 2014

In France, premium content on mobile is accessed primarily via apps:  Some 76% of premium content is accessed via apps in France (vs the mobile web).  This is in stark contrast to other markets, such as Germany, Brazil and the US, where a majority of mobile content is accessed via the mobile web

Samsung Galaxy and the iPhone account for the vast majority of ad impressions on  the mobile web:  These two alone make up 60%, while the other 4k types of devices available account for the remainder. In addition, android devices pulled past iOS last year in terms ad impressions, gaining 17 points since o2011

You can check out Smart + Ad’s infographic here.