Nielsen: Mobile Users Prefer Third-Party Apps

A global study, conducted by The Nielsen Co. and commissioned by Tellabs Inc. (Nasdaq: TLAB; Frankfurt: BTLA), shows growing demand for new, personalized mobile services from consumers who expect those services to come from third-party players and not their mobile providers.

It’s a classic good news/bad news scenario: Two-thirds of the 15,000 survey respondents from 15 countries say they are aware of such services from their mobile service providers, and most say they have trusted those providers with their personal data.

But they also believe companies like Google (Nasdaq: GOOG), applications providers like Facebook , and news and information sources like the British Broadcasting Corp. (BBC) and CNN, are more appropriate providers of the next-generation of mobile services such as applications, games, music, information, social networking, e-commerce, and more.

"They are transferring the brands they know in the fixed-line environment to the mobile environment," observes Edward Kershaw, Nielsen's vice president for Europe, Middle East, and Africa.

The message for mobile service providers is clear: They need to move quickly to offer services over their mobile platforms to the growing legion of smartphone users, or find themselves quickly upstaged, says Sonny Waheed, a spokesman for Tellabs, which has a stake in the mobile data traffic management sector following its recent acquisition of WiChorus. (See Core Blimey! Tellabs Buys WiChorus.)

"Right now, [mobile operators] are only associated with the services that are their core business -- voice, SMS [short messaging service], and MMS [multimedia messaging service]," Waheed says, noting that, as they invest in building more intelligent networks, mobile operators need to capitalize quickly with services that exploit that intelligence.

The survey included respondents in 15 countries, including both developed and emerging markets: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, South Africa, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

The results were surprisingly homogeneous, Kershaw says: "We were actually quite surprised about how little regional variation there was on big brushstroke issues."

Mobile providers generally ranked second or third as most trusted organizations when it comes to handling personal data, according to Kershaw, with banks generally coming in first and governments occasionally coming in second.

The 14 services covered by the survey were: applications; email; voice; SMS; MMS; games; music; location/navigation services; control devices/appliances at home; mobile payment; Internet browsing/searching (excluding news, weather, and sports sites); Internet browsing of news, weather, and sports sites; Internet purchasing of goods/services; and social networking.

— Carol Wilson, Chief Editor, Events, Light Reading

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Bruno99 12/5/2012 | 4:42:39 PM
re: Nielsen: Mobile Users Prefer Third-Party Apps The puff for this article played on fears for mobile oprators that they are losing their captive markets for services. The trend towards seperation of Access and Services is evident in both fixed and mobile comms and is long overdue. Sure - it's painful to have to face economic realities but elimination of cross-subsidisation is hardly a new concept.

The mobile vertical integration of the past (like Cable and ADSL) could in the short-term be excused by technological shortcomings but these excuses have passed their plea-by date.

It is the new-found energy and enterprise of a rich competitive pool of service providers that is driving the growth of mobile traffic - and Access providers need to unclutter their minds of 'soup to nuts' notions.
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