Billions at stake in battle for mobile consumers

Billions at stake in battle for mobile consumers

A battle is looming between banks, Internet information portals and mobile telecommunciations operators for control of an estimated eight billion euros in annual revenue that is forecast for the marketing and billing of new m-commerce services.

This is the forecast of new media and telecommunications company, Analysys, in its latest report "Controlling the 3G Value Chain."

The report contends that the next few years - leading to the introduction of advanced non-voice services associated with third generation (3G) technologies - will be vital for mobile operators and financial institutions as they seek to position themselves on the mobile value chain.

Mobile operators will need to undertake partnerships with banks in order to make their services attractive, through features such as content aggregation and transaction management. At the same time, banks are keen to become the customer's primary point-of-contact for the delivery of payment and transactional services.

Only last week the Mobey Forum, a bank-backed m-commerce collective, recommended a global mobile financial services architecture designed to give the banking industry a head start in the race to develop secure wireless payment systems.

Katrina Bond, lead author of the Analysys report, says: "Operators have to find a balance which enables them to form partnerships with companies that have content offerings, while still retaining their role as the customer-facing deliverers of mobile services."

At stake are mobile data revenues that will increase from just EUR7 billion in 2000 to almost EUR130 billion by 2011, says Bond. The majority of this revenue will come from datacomms services, such as messaging and file transfer, and infotainment services, with a small proportion being derived from m-commerce advertising and commissions on mobile transactions.

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