3ple-Media Survey Shows Positive Change in Attitudes to Mobile Multimedia But Where’s the ARPU for Operators?

3ple-Media Survey Shows Positive Change in Attitudes to Mobile Multimedia But Where’s the ARPU for Operators?

A new survey from 3ple-Media shows a positive shift in subscriber perceptions and expectations about the evolving role of Mobile Operators in the delivery of multimedia services. While 66% of subscribers among the 1,250 respondents say they now see their Mobile Operator as a data connectivity provider, encouragingly 20% see their Mobile Operator as most like a cable or satellite TV provider –i.e. as an aggregator and provider of multimedia content and services. A further 14% see Mobile Operators as most like their Bank – trusted guardians of their personal data and information - and as a supplier of personalized mobile multimedia services.

Operators themselves agree that this is part of their future with 80% agreeing that becoming a mobile data connectivity provider is either quite likely or highly likely. However, somewhat less clear, is the extent to which Operators expect to move beyond simply offering flat-rate data connectivity and evolve to become mobile multimedia service companies; thought by many to be essential to counter the ongoing ARPU decline from traditional services.

So who will be the revenue winners? Presently, 52% of Operators agree they are the current revenue leaders in the embryonic multimedia ecosystem. Understandably, Operators are more cautious when forecasting who might enjoy the most revenue success by 2010, rating themselves closely behind Media/Content Providers with 26% & 28% respectively, then advertisers at 24% and web 2.0 companies at 15%.

Interestingly, these other players (Media/Content Providers, brands and Internet companies) rate Operators as having the strongest current and future offering in the newly emerging “Mobile 2.0” ecosystem. This is especially true for critical components such as billing and response (58%), being guardians of customer data (54%) and having the strongest customer service capabilities (48%).

Overall consumer confidence in, and acceptance of, mobile multimedia is strong with 55% of subscribers saying they are looking forward to receiving mobile multimedia and 58% of Operators saying regular multimedia usage amongst subscribers will be at mass-market penetration levels (in the region of 31-50%+) by 2010.

However, 85% of Operators agree more education is required, as subscriber multimedia ‘know-how’ is either a partial or total hindrance to increasing their addressable market. 84% agree that subscriber misperceptions of mobile multimedia costs are equally prohibitive to growth. This finding is confirmed in subscriber responses with 59% of subscribers saying they either don’t know what services are available, or that they perceive services to be too expensive. A 65% majority of Operators say the estimated infrastructure cost to expand capacity to serve all subscribers is also a hindrance to increasing active multimedia subscriber levels.

StJohn Deakins, Chief Commercial Officer for 3ple-Media says: “There’s a debate within many Operators: do they simply become a mobile IP connectivity provider, or also seek to ensure ARPU growth by becoming their subscriber’s mobile multimedia service provider? This survey strongly suggests that despite the technological, educational, and commercial hurdles still to be conquered; Mobile Operators are the clear front runners in the race to be at the heart of the new mobile multimedia ecosystem”.

For a free copy of the full survey report findings, contact 3ple-Media:

To find out more about 3ple-Media’s MercuryTM platform and Mobile Multimedia Push, visit www.3ple-Media.com .