Mobile World Congress: Mobile Internet Will Grow Despite Downturn, Nielsen Reports

Consumers intend to dramatically increase use of mobile data services over the next two years with a significant ramp-up in the next 12 months, according to a survey by The Nielsen Company for Tellabs Inc..

The survey, announced at Mobile World Congress, shows up to 71 percent of consumers anticipate daily use of services such as mobile Internet.

The research, conducted in the five larger Western European countries and the United States, analyzed 10 mobile data services and includes responses from more than 50,000 mobile users in November 2008.

The survey reveals that more than half of the approximately 200 million mobile data users in those countries expect to increase use in the next two years.

“More significantly, according to the research more than a quarter of the millions of consumers who do not use mobile data services today intend to start using them shortly,” said Jesse Goranson, senior vice president of Mobile Media, The Nielsen Company. “By delving deeper into consumer intent, the Tellabs survey comes just in time as the industry debates demand for services and capital requirements at MWC.”

For current users, the average intended usage increase over the next 24 months was 58 percent for U.S. respondents and 55 percent for European respondents.

For non-users, the average intended usage over the next 24 months was 27 percent for U.S. respondents and 28 percent for European respondents.

In the surveyed countries alone, operators can expect more network traffic from around 175 million consumers for services such as mobile Internet, e-mail, photo uploading, software downloads and MMS.

Consumers also highlighted the greatest issues operators need to address: cost (too expensive or unclear), speed, quality and reliability.

Pressure on networks will be compounded as 41 percent of European and 71 percent of U.S. respondents anticipate daily use of mobile Internet services. Mobile e-mail is on a similar growth trajectory, as it is increasingly available through a range of mobile devices.

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