Affordability, Functionality Drive Mobile Growth in Asia | Mobile Marketing Association
November 23, 2009

Emerging mobile functionalities include Mobile Payment, Mobile Gaming, Mobile Healthcare and Mobile Music

Adoption of feature-rich handsets pushes mobile advertising and marketing growth


Singapore, 23 November, 2009 – The Mobile Marketing Association, a global organization leading the way in promoting the development and sustainability of mobile marketing, and Solidiance, Asia's premier marketing & innovation strategy consulting firm, today jointly released a paper on the emerging trends in mobile communications growth in Asia. Titled ‘Asia Mobile Telecommunication Innovations,’ the whitepaper identifies functionality and affordability as the two leading factors driving mobile adoption in Asia.

Affordability has been driven not only by the availability of affordable handsets for low income consumers, but also by lower service prices resulting from highly competitive market places. China, India and Indonesia are the top three markets offering the most affordable handsets in Asia.

With regards to functionality, the market for smartphones has been growing across Asia Pacific. “Undoubtedly, the mobile device is the most personal technology in use today, a fact that presents immense potential for engagement through mobile advertising and marketing. The increase of function-rich smartphones in the market with larger screen size, better web browsing capabilities and longer battery life, combined with ‘all you can eat’ data packages is driving the growth of mobile Internet making it a ready channel to connect with customers,” said Rohit Dadwal, Managing Director, Asia Pacific, Mobile Marketing Association.

The four key emerging mobile functionalities that are driving growth in Asia include mobile payment, mobile gaming, mobile healthcare and mobile music.

“Currently, Singapore and Hong Kong are the most mature electronic payment markets in Asia. The industry is growing rapidly and provides significant opportunities for all electronic payment Channels including mobile platforms. With a focus on services/product innovation, mobile operators and value added services providers are aggressively working on payment options through mobile platforms – which will be the most lucrative segment in the medium term across Asia,” said Damien Duhamel, Managing Director, Solidiance.

Revenues from mobile gaming for the Asia Pacific region have also significantly increased over the past few years. The delivery of advertising within mobile applications (games) creates a new revenue stream for publishers, distributors and service providers. More importantly, the revenue may be used to partially or completely subsidize the price of mobile games/services that the application provides.

Mobile healthcare is another fast growing segment in Asia Pacific. A recent study estimated that the Asian mobile healthcare business is currently growing at 80% year on year. In 2010, this business is estimated to be worth just under USD 1bn with 70% of users in more advanced economies. Applications include remote patient monitoring, mobile nursing, mobile medical records access, access to free mobile healthcare information etc.

“Asia Pacific is the prime testing ground for mobile healthcare. Asia is wired, adopts technologies faster than any other continents, and there are billions of dollars being pumped into the Asia healthcare industry to improve the current infrastructure,” said Mark Lee, Medtech Practice Head - Solidiance

The Asian mobile music market is also seeing rapid growth. Mobile operators in Korea have been the fastest to innovate and capture this market leading to soaring mobile music sales.

On the mobile value added services side, the Asia Pacific region has seen consistent growth in SMS usage. The Philippines remains the SMS capital of the world with the average user sending 400 SMS messages per month.

Early this year, it was estimated that over 2 billion cellphone subscriptions were active in the Asia Pacific region, which is half the global count. The high penetration of mobile devices as compared with personal computers has presented marketers with the opportunity to convert a technology product into a medium for personalized engagement.

“Increasing mobile penetration along with the introduction and adoption of newer mobile technology in the region has made it impossible to ignore the potential of the medium as a marketing vehicle. Research has shown that mobile phone users are receptive to this application of the technology and the increasing use of feature-rich phones further indicates an openness toward using the device for different applications,” Dadwal concluded.

About Solidiance
Solidiance is a marketing and innovation strategy consulting firm with focus on growth in Asia Pacific. The company works closely with Mobile Communication clients to outpace the competition, close growth gaps and capitalize on nascent market opportunities. With offices in Singapore, India, Thailand and China, Solidiance’s Asia focus provides clients with a better understanding of intrinsic Asia issues. To subscribe to further white papers and to learn more about Solidiance please visit: www.solidiance.com.

About the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA)
The Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) is the premier global non-profit trade association established to lead the growth of mobile marketing and advertising and their associated technologies. The MMA is an action-oriented organization designed to clear obstacles to market development, establish mobile media guidelines and best practices for sustainable growth, and evangelize the use of the mobile channel. The more than 700 member companies, representing over forty countries around the globe, include all members of the mobile media ecosystem. The Mobile Marketing Association’s global headquarters are located in the United States and it has regional chapters including North America (NA), Europe, Latin American (LATAM), Middle East & Africa (MEA) and Asia Pacific (APAC) branches. For more information, please visit www.mmaglobal.com. For information relating to the MMA’s Mobile Marketing Forum series, please visit www.mobilemarketingforum.com.

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