Investments by the mobile operators continue unabated in their quest to meet increasing consumer demand for services and mobile phone utility. These investments are usually based on future demand projections and local mobile operators such as Safaricom are busy preparing for 4G deployment slated for mid next year but targeting the enterprise consumer.
Mobile data for the mass market consumer remains untapped and it is great to see that Airtel has also gone live on 3G that will increase the mobile data footprint. Unknown or unseen by many is that the growth of mobile data consumption and revenue for both mobile operators and content producers lies the adoption of mobile data by rural consumers.
Many factors are pointing to this direction, with the first being the new political dispensation that will see increase infrastructure deployment by mobile operator to better serve county governments. What this does is that it creates awareness of the availability of technology that better serves the consumer and drives uptake.
Coming a close second is that operators are now pushing smart phones and Safaricom is said to be planning an aggressive drive of the same with the eminent launch into the market of a device from Huawei. Third is that the rural consumer also has a mobile lifestyle and have already been primed for localized content consumption with the move of government pushing for local content on other media channels. Lastly, there is a selection of business models that I believe are sufficiently mature to support the creation and distribution of content that requires mobile data.
Content developers now need to up their ante as research shows that despite the urban consumer currently being the major consumer of mobile data, the content consumed is not produced locally. In the larger ecosystems, the content producer stands to gain most from this “hunger”. Creation of sticky content requires differentiated thinking and the observation of trends.
We are yet to even scratch the surface when it comes to exploiting mobile data to drive content consumption and revenues. It’s anyone’s game at the moment, but as market forces open up access to devices; they that have the best and most relevant content hook will be laughing all the way to the bank.