Mobile search services are tipped to be worth US$4.8bn annually by 2013, analyst firm Juniper Research has predicted.
Last month, the value of the mobile search market for 2007 was estimated at US$83m, according to analyst firm Research and Markets.
While revenue generated by mobile search data charges is currently significantly higher than that generated by mobile advertising, the gap will close over the next five years, as the relatively young mobile advertising market establishes itself, Juniper Research claimed.
Reduction in data costs and the increased availability of flat-rate data tariffs will drive the increase in mobile search revenue, as will the impetus provided by major search brands such as Google and Yahoo! focusing on the mobile sphere.
Local search services will be the most popular with advertisers, attracting 40pc of mobile search ad spend over the next five years, Juniper Research said.
Operators need to be wary of providing an “advertising overload” to consumers, however, which could turn people off.
Last month, analyst firm Research and Markets forecast the value of the mobile search market will hit US$3.8bn by 2012, up from US$83m for 2007.
By Niall Byrne