Last week, MEF looked at the year ahead in its traditional annual predictions featuring ten key mobile trends that will shape the global mobile landscape in 2015. Here contributors to that list, drawn from MEF’s Global and Regional Boards of Directors and other members, share their thoughts on the top ten, as well as adding some of their predictions on what 2015 has in store for the global mobile ecosystem.
Scott Weeman, Managing Director MENA, Mondia Media
Particularly with the long-awaited launch of 3g in Iraq and the continued recovery of the 95 million subscriber Egyptian economy, we look forward to a promising year in MENA for mobile entertainment growth.
The momentum of direct operator billing implementations from the Gulf will carry across other key markets, as we’re seeing with Vodafone Egypt today, to increase efficiency and reliability of operator billing. This especially critical payment option in MENA markets with higher unbanked and lower credit card penetration will further increase the uptake of mobile apps, but additionally enable new business models for apps and other premium services. Sadly, a general lack of standardization in platforms and regulations across markets and operators will continue to hamper the deployment among merchants, and detract resources from the opportunity to focus on developing consumer trust.
I am optimistic that after isolated pilots in 2014, we’ll see the operators embrace the opportunity on a wider scale to bundle richer content services, such as music streaming, with other offerings in a more sophisticated approach to premium content services in MENA in 2015.”
Global Privacy Counsel
Kasey Chappelle, Global Privacy Counsel, Vodafone
The one thing in privacy we can be pretty sure will happen in 2015 is passage of the new European Data Protection Regulation. By the time it goes into force it will have a massive impact on all companies that depend on data (not just participants in the mobile ecosystem).
Just as the 1996 Data Protection Directive had a deep and lasting impact on how we talk about privacy around the world, this new regulation will again be a game changer, not just for European companies but for those around the world (and some of its extraterritorial elements may have a direct and not just indirect influence).
Expect to see requirements change around transparency and consent in particular to have a strong impact on how we build consumer interfaces. Smart companies are preparing for the changes now.”
Richard Leyland, VP Marketing, Bango
As the next billion consumers pick up their first smartphone, DCB will be the tech that connects these new consumers to the universe of paid content that brings their devices to life. DCB has been embraced by all of the app stores, except one. Will 2015 be the year that Apple joins the party?”
Todd Daubert, Partner, Dentons
Consumer trust has long been a key differentiator, and it will continue to be critical in 2015. With the recent highly-publicized privacy and security breaches, discussions of consumer trust often focus primarily on transparency, and discussions of transparency tend to focus on privacy policies. Simple, understandable and accurate privacy policies are critically important, but, in the real world, they arguably play a relatively minor role because nobody outside of the industry, and few from within the industry, seems to read them until after a breach, dispute or scandal.
Ray Ramillosa, VP Marketing, Boku
With that said, in 2015 we’ll see carrier billing used to purchase more and more digital goods such as apps, streaming content, and software. We’ll also see carrier billing used for more physical goods and services such as vending items, transport tickets, and vending items.
Improving technology, improving commercial conditions, and advancements on the regulatory front will help drive the continued growth of this convenient, secure, and most widely accessible alternative form of payment.”
Founder & CEO
Arturo Galván, Founder & CEO, Naranya
In LatAm, Mobile Content growth will be accelerated by the increasing penetration of Smart Phones and around Strategic Partnerships between Telcos and OTT providers specially around Streaming Video, Commerce & niche Verticals.
The industry is in a disruptive evolution that will create great business opportunities as well as high value innovation that will benefit all members of the mobile, media & digital ecosystem in the region.”
Andrew Bud, Global Chair, MEF
Driven by the widespread availability of smartphones, consumer desire and business innovation, 2014 saw mobile 3.0 gather momentum as the primary digital channel to perform the widest array of everyday tasks. MEF’s 4th annual Global Consumer Survey clearly indicates these changes – from payments to health and from entertainment to banking the mobile ecosystem continues to evolve and expand at pace.
And it’s not just in established economies. Growth markets such as Africa, India, Mexico and Brazil have positioned themselves as major contributors to the global mobile economy both in terms of the innovation that they provide and the voracious consumer appetite. 2015 will see these trends continue, capturing new vertical sectors like health and automotive, building out new areas of the mobile ecosystem and strengthening its long term sustainability.”
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