From the very first handheld mobile phone in 1973 that weighed nearly 4.4 lbs (2 kilograms) to the modern, uber-light, touch screen smartphones that offer countless voice and data functions, the mobility market has evolved in a drastic way. Mobile phones have become essential across the globe, numbering in the billions, and accordingly the demands from the mobility services market has increased. Although the initial years witnessed a broad dependence on voice services and text messaging services, the current focus has moved to data services which can directly facilitate voice and text contact even in the absence of call services.
Mobility services are required directly by consumers, governments, corporates, businesses, industries, with virtually every field having demands for reliable connectivity. Data services, coupled with smartphones, enable people to carry out activities such as emails, social media interactions, website search, access to mobile applications and more. The significant demands for mobility services across the globe has resulted in the growth of the independent mobility services market at a global level.
Mobility Market Trends
According to mobility market trends, the global mobility services market is estimated to reach approximately 9.7 billion mobile subscriptions in the next few years, with the penetration rate extending to 73 percent from the current 65 percent. Although the subscriber penetration rates have witnessed a slowdown at a global level, there is still a growth visible. Latin America and developing nations in the APAC region including India, China, Indonesia, Bangladesh and Pakistan are expected to drive the global market for mobility services
Several trends are influencing the mobility services market, among which the most prominent are technology advancements. While 3G service coverage has expanded to 90 percent of the users and LTE coverage to 55 percent, there are new technology developments that especially cater to mature markets such as North America and Europe where penetration is reaching the saturation point. Declines in the revenue from mobile voice services is made up for by the use of data mobility services. The next technology in the market expected to have a major impact is 5G, likely by the year 2020.
The preference of consumers around the world moving towards over-the-top (OTT) applications such as WhatsApp, Skype, Facebook Messenger, SMS and Google Voiceover calls are further driving the market for data mobility services. For businesses, the focus is moving towards enterprise mobility, so as to maximize operational efficiency and enhance overall productivity of the workforce.
Mobility Market Size
The mobility services market size is vast, since mobile phones have become close to a necessity in modern times. However, there is immense competition in the market amongst the mobility service providers, further compounded by the tendency of customers to switch between operators when faced with any kind of negative experience.
The pricing in the mobility market is based on either a usage-based fee or a flat recurring fee. Major cost components are hardware components costs and infrastructure costs. The key negotiation factors are volume of services, roaming, and pooling of voice minutes and data for the entire organization. The engagement strategy that has emerged as more popular is regional sourcing with 1-2 vendors per region. The most popular mobility contract models are short term of 2 years or less duration or long-term with more than 2 years duration.
The relevant key performance indicators in the mobility market are network coverage in terms of population, network availability, voice service availability, SMS service availability and the call quality, including set-up and termination.
Mobility Market Global Outlook
At a global level, the high market maturity regions are the U.S., the U.K., Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Japan, and Australia while the medium market maturity regions are Canada, China, Brazil, Russia, India, Mexico and Argentina. The developed markets for mobility services are in North America, Europe, Australia, Japan and South Korea, with the developing markets consisting of India, China, Myanmar, Indonesia, Vietnam and Bangladesh.
The demands and scope of mobility services tend to vary depending on the specific country. In developing countries that are focusing on urbanization of rural areas and overall modernization, having steady mobility services is more important than the technology used or the functionality. In comparison, in developed countries the preference is for technologically-advanced mobility services such as Cloud support, with higher speeds, even if the cost is higher.
The expansion of mobility services applications into enterprises, greater demand for mobile data as opposed to voice services, and rising demand for support services are factors that are affecting the mobility market at a global level. However, the telecommunications industry faces strict regulations based on the country of operation that impact the services offered.
The mobility market has been growing at a rapid pace, and although the pace is expected to slow down somewhat, due to saturation in highly mature markets, there is still potential in terms of technological advancements in the field. The market faces stiff competition with many global players in the arena, due to which costs of mobility services have reduced over the years. Innovations in the field are expected to further drive the growth of the mobility market.