Getting Mobile: The promise and the pain
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Pyramid Research reported recently that world wide mobile data revenue will double to $300 billion by 2012. The fastest growth is expected to be in the U.S. followed by Japan and China. There are currently about 3 billion GSM mobile phone users worldwide and only 850 million PC users. Pyramid expects that revenue from global mobile data services, despite lower revenue per user, will surpass that of fixed Internet access services in 2008 primarily due to its larger user base. The latest stats released by China's newly established Ministry of Industry and Information shows that as of the end of March 2008 there are 565 million mobile phone users in China, where fixed telephone line subscribers decreased to 361 million. According to the Pyramid report SMS will continue to generate the highest share of global mobile data revenue and increasingly larger impact in emerging markets. This saying may also be supported by the news that Chinese search engine and China Netcom launched an SMS search service in March The new service integrates the database of Baidu Zhidao (Baidu Knows - a service similar to Yahoo! Answers) and the database of China Netcom's classified information. Users only need to sms their questions to a designated number to find the answers. Coming along with the popularity of mobile SMS data services - information services and decent mobile advertisements - is the problem of mobile spam. How much cell phone spam do you get? A survey in Japan reported that the number getting spammed daily has almost doubled in a year In China it is reported that more than 353 billion SMS spam messages were sent in 2007 alone which was an increase of 92.7% compared to a year earlier. It is a difficult problem to tackle in the U.S. as well The Chinese government has initiated a series of efforts to fight against mobile spam, including the publication of daily black list of hosts that sending out spam text messages U.S. Government also beefs up anti-spam rules, so called CAN-SPAM, and recently approved new rule provisions that would shield consumers from unwanted mobile phone spam. Despite mobile spam, delivering information services to mobile devices holds promising future. Creative service models may be the key to turn promise into reality.

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