Mobile phone use same as five years ago

5 Feb 2008

Operators are lagging behind when it comes to encouraging their customers to make more use of their mobiles, a new study has found.

Over half (57pc) of UK mobile phone owners use their phone for the same things that they did in 2003, chiefly calls and texts, a survey by AppTrigger has found. This is despite the fact that 74pc believe the services offered have improved in that time.

Nearly half (48pc) said they have never received a sports, retail or entertainment promotion from their mobile operator. Of the 52pc who have received promotions, almost two thirds (62pc) said that it was ‘a few times a year’ or ‘almost never.’

AppTrigger polled 500 mobile phone users in the UK, and concluded that the mobile marketing industry is suffering from a lack of new services adoption.

“Mobile operators are missing a trick by not combining traditional services with IP ones to create new innovative services,” said Patrick Fitzgerald, vice-president of marketing, AppTrigger.

“However, the lack of mobile marketing is a side effect of a greater illness. If operators were equipped with the appropriate tools and technologies to link promotions, via applications, into their networks quickly and push them out to market, they would be able to capitalise on this lost opportunity.”

AppTrigger said mobile phone operators are largely locked into proprietary application suites and hindered by complex connectivity issues, which results in them missing out on marketing opportunities.

Of those who do use their mobiles for purposes other than texts and calls, there is a marked difference depending on age. The 16-24-year-old segment is more likely to download music or games while 25-34-year-olds are more likely to use PDA tools such as diary, contacts, email and web browsing.

Only 22pc of mobile phone owners in all age groups said they have used location-based services.

“The numbers reinforce the message that youths are being bred to use the phone like a mobile device rather than a stand-in computer as many technologists are trying to push,” remarked Fitzgerald. “Strategies seeking revenue opportunities from the mobile phone need to take this trend into account.

“Location-based services offer great potential, but location alone will not provide crucial data about users’ habits ,whereas web usage is the key,” he added.

“The ability to bring innovative network services to market via new environments such as Web 2.0 will be the catalyst that enables monetisation of application mash-ups. Operators need to be positioned to reap the rewards of these opportunities.”

By Niall Byrne