According to a new survey published by ARC Group, the mobile industry is optimistic for the year ahead.
Of the industry professionals surveyed for the 3GSM 2004 Survey, 85% expected their company’s profitability to grow in 2004, with 16% convinced it would grow by more than 20%.
Mobile Operators responses reinforced this sense of optimism, with 74% of the 157 operators surveyed believing that their capital expenditure (CAPEX) would increase this year.
However, the survey also highlights some issues regarding 3G’s impact in 2004. Over 50% of respondents believe that 3G will have little influence this year, whereas only 8% thought it would be very influential.
Only 35% believed that 2004 would see their home operators launching either UMTS or EDGE networks. And an overwhelming majority in all regions believed that less than 5% of operators’ subscribers would be using 3G services this year.
ARC Group Managing Consultant, Karen Walsh, says “Although clearly optimistic for the year ahead, the mobile industry is now underpinned with a sense of realism.
Although W-CDMA services are scheduled for launch before the end of 2004 in several areas, the industry is not convinced that 3G will have much impact this year. Respondents also felt that handset availability was the largest potential barriers to 3G services uptake.”
Other key findings from the 3GSM 2004 Survey include:
- The majority of respondents thought that Asian manufacturers would continue to increase their market shares in 2004, with almost 50% believing they would increase their shares by between 10 and 20%.
- Mobile enterprise solutions will be the hottest mobile content & applications of 2004, according to almost 35% of respondents.
- The vast majority of respondents thought that content brand owners would provide an opportunity for mobile operators rather than a threat.
- Time-to-market and available applications will be the key issues affecting handset vendor success in 2004.
- Wi-Fi and Bluetooth technologies were the top two choices for almost all respondents when asked what would be the two most widely used short-range wireless technologies in 2004.
- Only 12% of industry professionals believed that Wi-Fi hotspots would have a significant impact on their business strategy in 2004.