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We haven't heard too much in the way of hype from the mobile network operators of late. Instead they seem to be focusing their efforts on developing real deliverables, real solutions and less inane warbling about solutions which clearly are not going to materialise for a good few years yet.

This new, conservative approach to marketing is not paying the dividends that the vendors may have hoped. 3G adoption rates are not going to come in at anything like the operators need to sustain their over-inflated cost base. According to Forrester, the European operators can expect to see only up to 20 per cent of its user base adopting 2.5G and 3G services over the next two years. That's a low figure for an industry struggling to pay the bills.

There are currently an estimated 190 million consumers using mobile phones across Europe, representing some 72 per cent of the 16 year old and above population. Of these, only 23 per cent of them have access to WAP services and hardly any of them use the stuttering, badly-presented services. Forrester reckons this percentage is as low as three per cent for WAP users. It's not getting any easier to convince them to make the switch either. Only 24 per cent of mobile users would be prepared to pay for next generation 3G mobile services according to the analysts.

With this in mind Forrester has tried to do the mobile operators' jobs for them, identifying a couple of markets which, it argues, the mobile vendors should focus on. The first one that Forrester identifies is the female market, accounting for 14 per cent of mobile phone users which, in some strange piece of analysis, Forrester says should be targeted with attractive handsets and then flood the systems with games.

Games? Women? Hmmmm. It's not a combination that usually springs to mind but Forrester reckon this lot are crying out for entertainment.

The other one is that most high-profile of customers. The well paid, jet-set young male executive which, in its wisdom, Forrester says should be targeted with MMS, Instant messaging and flexible email systems. Funnily enough, this is also the stuff that should be targeted at everyone else too. Probably the female population, along with everyone else frankly, who would appreciate the ability to communicate effectively over a mobile network.

Forrester may well have a point but the chances are that the mobile operators know slightly more about the potential of their customers than an external force with limited access to customer data. Still, good reading though, eh?

© IT-Analysis.com

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