A SHIFT in the focus of telecommunications companies (telcos) to the relatively untapped data market is good news for mobile infrastructure solution providers, who see this translating into 20% annual growth in product sales.
SmartTrust chief executive officer Paul Cuss said the mobile software solutions market would continue to shine despite talk of a depression in the telecoms market and a cutback in corporate spending in the past few years.
“We actually see a lot of growth in our type of business purely because operators are looking to increase their revenue per subscriber. That means upgrading their infrastructure and offering a mixture of mobile services to end-users,” he said, adding that double-digit growth was projected for SmartTrust's business this year.
In an interview with StarBiz, Cuss said telcos would continue to grow their current networks to accommodate more subscribers and develop value-added services for the data market.
“There are still a lot of activities going on, new developments and services, new shifts in consumer patterns and easy access to telecommunications services. In many cases, mobile services have become richer and more valuable,” he said.
“And certainly there is definitely an appetite for value-added services such as infotainment and this area has been growing rapidly in the last 12 months. We also notice that there is growing interest in mobile commerce and mobile banking,” he added.
Cuss said these services were starting to receive more exposure as telcos were driving the uptake of these services through extensive promotions.
Telecoms analysts see the mobile sector, on the whole, experiencing relatively steady growth in view of the increase in mobile subscribers.
Telcos would continue to invest in network infrastructure to support a variety of data services to differentiate themselves from competitors.
June Liang, the programme leader technology practice at Frost & Sullivan, said that due to the competition among telcos and the mature voice market telecoms firms would have to look at new areas such as the data market.
“It will be a challenge to them to come out with a good mixture of data services that will appeal to targeted users. The telcos will need to experiment first to find out,” she said, adding that telcos would focus on rolling out new data services revolving around the SMS technology this year.