Bango Looks Into Its Crystal Ball

Bango has issued its predictions on five key mobile trends for 2008. Heres what the company has to say. Check back in 12 months to see if it all came true…

Prediction No. 1: Increasing numbers of people will access the Internet on their mobile phone.
There are many more mobile phones than there are PCs today. Over 50% of the worlds population now has a mobile phone; this amounts to 3 billion mobile phones. At last estimate, there were 1.1 billion PCs. As the majority of new phones come with Internet access as standard, we envisage that by Q3 2009, more people will access the Internet on their mobile than through a PC.

Prediction No. 2: Mobile advertising will surge ahead.
Mobile advertising is a huge opportunity, with the potential to generate in excess of $10 billion (5 billion) in annual revenues by 2010. There are a number of factors holding it back, mainly the lack of analytics that would enable advertisers to verify the results of their campaigns. Once this is solved, and theres an independent auditing process, then mainstream brands will dip more than a toe into mobile advertising.

Prediction No. 3: There will be a shift from messaging to Internet for data usage on mobile phones.
We are already seeing more web browsing on mobiles, as operators introduced flat-rate charging in 2007 and moved from a portal model to a more open search-based model, by putting a search box prominently on the portal home page. Search will become more like the Internet experience, but the quality of the mobile search index needs to improve dramatically to achieve mass market adoption. During 2008, more brands and mobile content providers will use the Internet instead of messaging for service delivery.

Prediction No. 4: Mobile commerce for physical goods will come of age.
Buying travel tickets and basic consumables via the mobile web is already popular in Japan and Korea, and soon this will move to Europe and the US. Its possible in the Far East because the operator payout rates to content providers approach that of credit cards, so people are paying for physical goods on their phone bill. Currently, payout rates in Europe and the US are too low, but as they increase so will the purchase of physical goods.

Prediction No. 5: The PC and mobile will become more closely linked.
The separate worlds of the PC and mobile will come together. People will be able to connect their PC life with their mobile life much more easily, so anyone on Myspace, Facebook or Twitter, for example, will be able to share content and information with mobile phone users.   The two worlds will no longer be seen as hostile, with mobile providing an always-connected, personal channel that makes it unique.