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Interview: Bango Vp Sarah Keefe
Sr Marketing Anal...
[Manoj]: What's caused the recent increase in mobile web in the US?
[Sarah Keefe]: The two biggest factors are the roll-out of a great choice of data plans by all the major mobile operators in the US and the iPhone effect. The "All you can eat" plans are proving very attractive as they are priced at an affordable level and stimulate mobile browsing. Thanks to the iPhone, people now realize that they can surf the web from their phone and now that the majority of US phones come internet-enabled, it's opening up the whole world of mobile browsing. Of course, more data friendly devices featuring higher resolution screens and faster 3G networks all helps.
[Manoj]: Do you believe the US and UK will jockey for postion for a while or will the US take the outright lead for the unforeseeable future
[Sarah Keefe]: The UK has punched above it's weight considering the small size of the market when compared to the US. As the total UK population is the same size as the Sprint network, we feel the US market will take the outright lead from September onwards. The US population is 5 times as big as the UK so there's a huge potential for growth in the US.
[Manoj]: It appears that there is a lot of mobile web usage in Asia, especially in India, which at 10.8% means a LOT of users.
[Sarah Keefe]: Internet usage outside of North Amerca and Europe is growing and at some point, countries with huge populations such as India and China could overtake the US at some stage. But we don't see this happening in the short-term.
[Manoj]: How much growth are you expecting to see in mobile web usage globally in the next year and will it take away from traditional internet usage?
[Sarah Keefe]: It's hard to say exactly how much this will grow as markets like the US have a large potential for growth and countries where internet access is not easily available because of poor landline infrastructure will experience growth too as people find they can access the internet on their phones. Even where PC internet is widely available as in the US, browsing will shift to the mobile. If you look at broadcasters like NBC and the BBC who covered the Olympics this month, then they will have seen an increase in online usage but the real growth will have been to their mobile sites.
[Manoj]: What are the differences between mobile usage in North America vs. Europe vs. Asia?
[Sarah Keefe]: They are surprisingly similar as people have the same interests across the geographies, mainly driven by entertainment - sport, news, music, games and some phone personalization. In the more advanced Asian markets like Korea and Japan, we see more multiplayer mobile games and social networking than we now have in Europe and North America - these are big drivers for mobile usage