Everything on earth will go Mobile!
I firmly believe the next revolution will be a ‘Mobile Revolution.’ If you thought mobiles and other wireless devices have already revolutionized our world, you are wrong. The best is yet to come. I am sure many experts have already predicted this, but let me re-iterate this – Mobile internet will be the next big buzz word and this will be the main factor to drive the next revolution.
And the biggest beneficiaries and also the driving force behind the Mobile Internet will be the emerging markets. Now, why do I say that? Let’s take India for example. We have nearly 200 million mobile phones (figure not accurate, keeps changing by the minute) in India and this figure is set to grow exponential for the next few years. These phones have become a basic necessity and have even changed the way we live our lives. Now, imagine enabling Internet in these phones and you will see mobile and internet usage spreading like ‘wild-fire.’ Are we not hitting the bottom of the pyramid? Yes, indeed we are! And, the minute the so-called ‘Critical Mass’ is hit, you see a Revolution! The technology will improve drastically, the prices will fall, the service will get better and all these things will in-turn benefit us.
Now, the next question in your mind will be – Why won’t the developed markets be the growth factors for Mobile Internet? The answer is simple, because they have the computers and laptops at their disposals and we (emerging markets) don’t. PC penetration in India is as low as around 10% of that of mobiles and phones and it’s almost as high as 80-100% in a few developed markets. So, technology deployment in developed markets may be better than emerging markets, but the demand and the need will be driven by the emerging markets. For the demand to increase in developed markets, we need to make the technology ‘Cool.’ Unless the mobile experience improves drastically, users will prefer surfing the internet from their PCs and laptops.
So, what’s stopping the revolution right now (for both developed and emerging markets)? And what are the solutions? The answer to these questions is very complex and will warrant us to look at many aspects of business and technology. And this is what we will be discussing in the next few posts on this blog.
The main bottleneck is technology and what drives technology is business. So, what’s missing is a ‘killer’ business model to drive and sustain the Mobile Internet.
To capture the drawbacks in a nutshell:
1.Technology Deployment: Currently we are looking at 3G* in a few parts of the world. India is currently at 2.5G. The Internet speed is pathetic at best in almost all parts of the world. So, I consider this the main impediment for Mobile Internet for obvious reasons. You wouldn’t want to wait for an hour to download a file of size 100kilobytes. We have a hope of WiMax and HSDPA 3.6Mbps to be deployed soon, but let’s see what happens.
*For those of you who do not know the conventions:
2G = GSM and CDMA technologies
2.5G = GSM + EDGE technologies
3G = WCDMA, UMTS technologies
3G LTE = Super 3G or 3G Long Term Evolution technologies
4G = mainly DVB, HSDPA for high speed downloading protocol, HSUPA for high speed uploading protocol (may also be termed as 3.75G) and so on.
So, let’s wind up for today. I will continue this topic in my next post!
If you have any questions/suggestions/etc, feel free to leave a comment. Will get back to you.