03 September 2008

Rising Economies Hit Web with Phones

Five of the world's 10 largest cities are located in the fast-growing economies of Brazil, Russia, India and China (the so-called BRIC countries), along with four of the five top markets for new mobile subscribers.

Moreover, mobile is not simply viewed as an extension of the Web in BRIC, as it is in the US, Western Europe and parts of Asia-Pacific. Mobile is the Internet for an increasingly large and attractive consumer segment.

Less than 2% of mobile users in India accessed the Internet with their phone in Q1 2008, according to Nielsen Mobile's "Mobile Media Marketplace" report.

The penetration rates could be viewed as low when compared with official counts released by national regulatory agencies, because such agencies reported numbers of lines and did not account for subscribers who had multiple phones.

High mobile Internet penetration in the BRIC countries is all the more notable since none of them has yet launched third-generation (3G) mobile services, although each one has either licensed 3G services or will do so by 2009. Once that happens, marketers can expect even higher mobile Internet penetration rates, with the commensurate ability to conduct more sophisticated and widespread mobile marketing campaigns.