Ticketing applications to boost m-commerce market

6 Aug 2004

Revenues from mobile ticketing applications will help turn the global mobile commerce market into an US$88bn industry by 2009, according to a new report from Juniper Research. UK comms analyst Ovum concurs, saying that while the m-commerce market is still immature, there are opportunities for operators to launch new services to demonstrate the benefits of paying with a mobile phone.

A new report from Juniper Research says mobile ticketing has the potential to be a huge application. While digital goods such as mobile entertainment (ringtones, games, wallpaper, gambling and so on) will continue to be the largest application for buying and selling via the mobile phone, ticket purchases will also emerge as a major application area by 2007 with revenues totalling US$39bn by 2009.

According to the Juniper report, mobile entertainment transactions as a whole will be worth US$48m by 2009. Of this, retail point of sale mobile transactions will be slow and will be worth only US$299m by 2009. However, radio frequency ID (RFID) and infrared technologies are likely to have a major influence on future developments of mobile as a payment device, but could be delayed by the slow development of global standards due to too many industry bodies concentrating on vested interests.

Report author Marc Ambasna-Jones said: “Mobile ticketing has the potential to be a huge application. The very nature of buying and selling tickets is high volume and low cost. This will make it easier for consumers to try it at least once because it is low risk. The aim is to make it more convenient than cash and there is willing among operators and merchants to make it happen but it will take time.

“Globally the m-commerce market will be fragmented – mainly drawn up by continental boundaries. Each region is developing at a different pace and with different technologies in mind. There is no one global standard but this will both help and hinder m-commerce. A focus on local needs will probably help the technology develop more quickly but eventually we will be faced with a roaming problem between regions.”

UK-based communications industry analyst Ovum, meanwhile, said that the growth in use of mobile phones in payment mechanisms should lead to an “early growth phase” between 2005 and 2006.

According to a statement from Ovum, the most attractive services include mobile top-up, non-wireless content, m-ticketing, mobile gambling and payments to mobile professionals. “After the launch phase of m-commerce in 2004, we should enter an ‘early growth’ phase in 2005-2006,” Ovum said.

Ovum said that every mobile operator in the world has now launched services enabled payments for third party mobile content. However, it warned that the implementation of a larger range of m-commerce services requires players to consider a range of key issues. Four important factors for the success of m-commerce services, Ovum said, include lowering transaction costs, improving convenience and flexibility for the end-user, adapting security to minimise risk exposure and interoperability.

By John Kennedy