New Research Report on UTMS
By Malathy Devendra, Mon Mar 12 00:00:00 GMT 2001

Will UMTS live up to our expectations?


Enough has been said about 2G technologies. Now the market participants are dedicating their resources in exploring the new avenues of 2.5G, 3G and even 4G - mostly from a business perspective as the technology innovation seem to have reached the end of the tunnel (at least funding wise).

Last Thursday, Eqvitec Partners Oy and Durlacher Research Ltd have released a mobile industry report "UMTS 2001 - An Investment Perspective" analyzing the development of GPRS, UTMS and 4G and mobile application markets. The research was supported by Helsinki School of Technology and Helsinki School of Economics and Business Administration.

Essentially the report maps a competitive landscape and provides a framework for investors and entrepreneurs to analyze their position in the rapidly changing mobile space. Jukka Hayrynen, investor director at Eqvitec Partners assured the audience "The scare of mobile operators will die does not hold, the strong ones will survive" while presenting the report at Adams Hall in Helsinki.

Are things OK in Europe? Over 100 billion euro have been paid for European licenses. Infrastructure investments will be approximately 2 billion euro for each operator. Even though the value added market is growing rapidly, voice traffic remains the cash cow of the operator industry. The industry is betting on value added content as the potential killer application as the market is becoming increasingly fragmented making it difficult for any individual application to succeed.

Slow data rates have been blamed for the failure of mobile data services but if so why do we see contrary evidence with SMS services and Japanese i-mode service? Attention has to be paid to the usability of the services and the user interface on the device rather than the data rates.

Other underlying factors such as declining mobile phone market, declining ARPU (average revenue per user) rates, the reality of m-commerce and the possibility of 4G moving in before 3G investments have paid off will affect the development of the business and pricing models of the mobile and wireless industry.

Amid all the unfavorable news about WAP and GPRS lately, the true potential of the mobile market is out there for the industry players to realize and institutionalize in attempt to generate revenue. "This is not a joke, different players will influence each other and if you move one the others will shift also", says Jukka Hayrynen. The goal is a multi-networked environment where customers use the most convenient technology to access the services they desire.

The findings of the report:

- M-commerce is dead, mc-commerce (multi-channel commerce) will live

- Mobile Internet services in Europe will be worth over 76 billion euro by the year 2005

- UMTS license costs will not hinder mobile market development

- Service provider concept will re-emerge and mobile services and application will explode

- GPRS is key enabling technology

- WAP will be successful afterall

- Casualty among WAP mobile start-ups will surface

- SMS will make money now but GPRS/UMTS will make money in the future

- UMTS will not enable mobile multimedia for many years

- Wireless LAN (WLAN) will become a public network technology

- Hardware availability will be key to application availability

To get more insight of the research which is based on over 70 interviews of industry leaders in Japan and Europe, visit http://www.the451.com .The report is free of charge, but it requires registration for downloading.