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Consumer appetite for mobile downloads will fuel a €7.6bn market in 2006.

According to research from LogicaCMG, demand for mobile downloads will triple within the next year. Currently 20 per cent of mobile phone users download mobile content with that figure rising to 60 per cent by 2006, the firms

LogicaCMG's survey focused on mobile phone users in Europe, Asia Pacific, North and South America. It also revealed that the spending habits of mobile phone users will rise in the coming twelve months. The average monthly spend on mobile downloads per subscriber is €6.32 with 40 per cent of those surveyed expecting to increase their spending in the future.

The most popular downloads in the mobile content marketplace are ringtones, music and games. The popularity of these downloads is unlikely to change much in the coming year, but LogicaCMG found that news and sports downloads are likely to pick up a keen following, particularly in Europe.

Despite consumers demand for mobile downloads, the research showed that mobile operators need to make significant improvements to their services in order to benefit from this booming market. Ease of payment and content sharing were cited as key factors by respondents when considering downloading mobile content. Meanwhile, quick download times and network-based storage for content was also regarded as important. On the flip side though, 90 per cent of mobile phone users admitted that they are influenced by marketing promotions offered by their network operators.

Additionally 50 per cent of consumers are concerned about security, while 40 per cent were worried about overpriced content and mobile fraud.

"This survey proves that a substantial market for mobile content exists, with great opportunities for mobile operators worldwide," said Paul Gleeson, chief operating officer at LogicaCMG global telecoms. "Mobile phone users are starting to experiment with their phones' capabilities but, drawing a parallel with the popular SMS experience, it is clear that the service needs to be simple, safe and intuitive from initial browsing through to payment and download."

"To secure a share in this booming industry, mobile operators need to look at the bigger picture, building strong relationships with customers and content partners alike to deliver high-quality services that meet the markets' needs," he added.

© ENN

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