In the mobile industry, and especially in emerging markets, 2014 will largely see the continuation and acceleration of trends from the previous year: the unstoppable expansion of mobile data networks, increased competition in the low- to mid-range smartphone market, further innovation in the mobile money and mobile banking segments, and growing importance of mobile devices in everyday life, worldwide.
Mobile is changing lives in many ways and developing countries have been on the forefront of innovative uses of mobile technology, to the extent that the Western world is looking to them for ideas and business models. Even more impressive, they did that with technologies such as the humble yet indestructible SMS.
In the consumer segment, emerging markets will see trends from developed countries replicated. As mobile data becomes more available and smartphones more affordable, person-to-person SMS will decline in favour of OTT apps, but at the same time, new opportunities for “legacy” technologies, SMS and USSD, will present themselves in the enterprise segment, offering operators ways to offset losses.
The familiarity and reliability of SMS and USSD will continue to appeal to both consumers and enterprises and we expect to see a significant uptake in all markets, not just developing.
Boris Pogacnik is the VP of Business Operations at Infobip.