Optical/IP Networks

Recession Spoils Mobile Fun

5:10 PM -- Mobile entertainment revenues are set to take a big hit from a prolonged global recession, according to Juniper Research Ltd. , which just halved its five-year revenue forecast for these services.

Over the next five years, Juniper expects mobile entertainment revenues to grow by $13 billion, compared with the $26 billion it had forecast before the financial meltdown, according to its new mobile entertainment report.

Mobile TV will be the hardest hit, followed by music and user-generated content. And along with consumers having less to spend, the other factors curbing growth are the cost of data services and ease of access, according to the report.

Cost and ease of use continue to put the brakes on mobile data usage, in spite of the big data revenue growth operators have been reporting over the last year.

For the easy access problem, perhaps we just need more Mobile Widgets. [Ed. note: apologies for clumsy segue.] Verizon Wireless shined a spotlight on widgets last week when it announced that it would join the Joint Innovation Lab (JIL) that China Mobile Communications Corp. , SoftBank Mobile Corp. , and Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD) started a year ago. (See Verizon Joins Widget Initiative.)

Widgets make it easier for consumers to access the Web content they want from their mobile phones. And they can get around having to rewrite applications for each and every mobile operating system. The goal of the JIL is to create a single platform that developers can use to create mobile widgets. The group's first developer tools are due out later this year.

And if you're in Barcelona later this month, the next Mobile Monday Barcelona event will be a veritable widget fest.

— Michelle Donegan, European Editor, Unstrung

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