The Next Leap

COMPETITIVE IRELAND IN THE DIGITAL ERA

TREND 3: Pervasive Internet

with 2 comments

The Internet only began to have a significant commercial impact in the mid- to late- 1990s. Yet only a decade later its impact is extending to many aspects of daily life. This trend can be expected to accelerate in the coming years, driven by two factors:

First, new consumer technology such as affordable and small laptops, wireless networking, and Internet connected mobile phones have expanded the market for mobile Internet connectivity. The ongoing development of new mobile platforms means that the mobile internet device will soon be universal in Ireland, and can be expected to expand very rapidly across the globe.

Second, many governments are reconsidering their regulation and policies governing the allocation of wireless spectrum, not least because of the so-called “digital dividend” of unallocated spectrum freed for new uses once analog television signals are switched to more efficient digital ones. The Government’s new Spectrum Strategy is a welcome reflection of this priority. Judging by the number of mobile handsets, as opposed to PCs, sold globally, the convergence of Internet connectivity with mobile telephony will produce a truly massive market for digital media content and advertising (discussed as a trend in itself in trend 4, below). Juniper Research anticipates that expenditure on mobile advertising will rise from $1.3bn in 2008 to more than $7.6bn in 2013. In addition, mobile Internet take up will create a global demand for better wireless technologies capable of delivering more content to more users more reliably at lower cost.

Continue to Options for Government Action in Pervasive Internet

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Written by johnnyryan

13/12/2008 at 01:42

2 Responses

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  1. Brief and pointy, good. However, this sort of section could use some more facts – what percentage of Irish people *do* have laptops? palmtops? smartphones? And pace earlier comments, how many actually use them for Web 2.0, commerce or secure transactions?

    The point on spectrum is good, and we should avoid the sad messes in several other countries, but we should also watch out for probable dead ends, such as the much-touted but badly-lagging WiMax – the approach of Nokia, leader in devices, and Ericsson, top network seller, is instructive.

    With 4 billion mobile or cellular subscribers, the small device is indeed probably the real key. A good point on advertising, as costs are definitely a barrier. But again, reality check – 1.3 bn out of a 650 bn USD industry?? Even 7.6 bn out of by then maybe 850 bn?? But maybe it will do better, at least in countries like Ireland.

    R Almatev

    18/12/2008 at 23:00

  2. The first section is indisputable, and we must certainly do more to harness mobile connectivity. On access and spectrum, we must balance experimentation with the need for robust availability.

    I agree that advertising will help to facilitate services, but also with the comment above on scale: telecoms is a nearly 2 trillion US$ business, and marketing-and-advertising are at least one third of that. So the numbers for mobile advertising are rather modest, but may still be crucial in helping people to try services for the first time, or making them more affordable. One small caution: most of what is now labelled “mobile advertising” is in fact below-the-line activitiy, larketing promos and similar. Most mainline, big-agency, advertising, has no notion of going mobile to any great degree yet. But internet, yes: online ads are proving more resilient than most offline forms, especially print.

    J Doyle

    20/12/2008 at 11:47


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