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Woo Youth but don't forget the Enterprise says ABI
Posted: 04-Aug-2004 [Source: ABI Research]

[ABI reminds operators that although youth-centric wireless applications are in high demand, enterprise users have deeper pockets.]

Oyster Bay, NY -- Wireless operators searching for new ways to generate revenue are developing a whole array of new applications, all aimed at data-driven services. They are pinning their hopes for the future on video conferencing, video messaging, location-based services, push-to-talk (PTT), gaming, music, ringtone downloading, sharing photos and many others. Their strategy is to bundle applications as packaged solutions.

But who's buying? According to Edward Rerisi, vice president of research at New York-based ABI Research, says that operators will need to target their offerings carefully in order to reap the benefits they hope for.

Market data indicates, for example, that downloading ringtones (now often based on the latest hit tune), is very much a kids' thing, and looks set to become the kind of huge earner that SMS text messaging became in many parts of the world a few years ago. Gaming too, is driven by a younger demographic.

But applications such as videoconferencing, email services or in-vehicle navigation are clearly more suitable for enterprises and adult business travelers. "Despite the attractiveness of the mass market," Rerisi notes, "operators should remember that enterprise customers have deep pockets, and spend a lot of money for crucial business applications."

Regional differences around the world will also affect the uptake of specific applications.

Faced with this fragmented market, smaller operators and application developers may choose to target niche age groups, while larger players with greater resources may be able to provide something for everyone. In both cases, highly focused advertising, promotion and consumer education will be the key to the kind of success required to replace flagging voice-call revenues in the coming years.

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