A Research and Markets study reveals that 3G mobile services will expand rapidly in the coming years. The research firm predicts a 174.4 million hike in 3G mobile subscribers to 184 million by 2010 from just 9.4 million in March of last year.
3G will hit ‘critical mass’ in Western Europe by 2007. Critical mass pertains to 20% of the installed base who have 3G handsets. The technology would reach mass market in the region by 2010. Mass market level is reached when the installed base who owns 3G phones reaches 50%.
The technology has already reached Ireland. Comreg has granted 3G rights to four mobile phone operators, namely 3, O2, Vodafone, and Smart Telecom.
Mobile phone system giant 3 already controls 74% of the 3G market in Europe, a market share that comes as a direct result of its strategic pricing scheme.
The 3G system that these operators would be putting up would enable users to do or experience the following, among others, on their mobile phone – watch movies or TV shows, send and receive images at fast transfer rates, engage in video call or conferencing, download data seamlessly, and surf the Internet at impressive speeds.
Research and Markets warns mobile phone operators though that they would not be able to rely heavily on their SMS services for revenues, especially when the 3G market develops. The research company suggests that mobile network providers should develop and enhance other 3G services in order to generate enough income to recover and profit from their investments.