Openwave unveils US mobile internet trends

Openwave Systems, a software innovator offering a mediation platform and tools to mobilise the Internet, has published a 2009 report highlighting key mobile internet usage trends in North America. The findings are the result of Openwave Mobile Analytics collecting and interpreting traffic and subscriber behavior data from a tier one mobile operator over a five day period.

Social Networking Creates New Opportunities for the Mobile Ecosystem
As a follow on to the spring 2009 Mobile Insights, which reported on the growing prominence of social networking as the key area of interest for mobile internet users, strong themes identified in the fall Mobile Insights suggest that mobile social networking continues to grow.

Site-based reports confirmed that four of the top 10 domains accessed on a mobile device were social networking sites. This finding presents an opportunity for the operator to add value to a very popular part of the user experience. Options can include partnering with these leading social networking sites through co-branding efforts, such as marketing and advertising, with several players across the mobile ecosystem all to the potential benefit of the consumer.

Mobile Analytics findings derived from device-based reports indicated that users of smartphone devices such as the Palm D062 and Samsung-PHTM800 are consuming at least three to four times more data volume compared to other, less sophisticated smartphones such as Palm D060 and feature phones. The device-based report also uncovered a category of unknown devices classified as bandit devices that are generating between 1.25 and 1.5 times more traffic than smartphones and nearly 5.5 times more traffic than feature phones.

These findings could suggest that bandit devices, which may be unlocked devices such as iPhones, USB modems or netbooks from other networks, are being used on the operator network. Bandit devices could impact network performance in terms of congestion and latency problems that could have associated financial implications to the operator through increased CAPEX costs due to additional network capacity upgrades in congested areas.

Remedies to the bandit device situation could include operator offerings for exclusive content and device bundles with advanced personalisation and service discovery features that encourage unknown device users to upgrade their device. The operator could also enforce new pricing policies for bandit devices that exceed their monthly data limits and persuade subscribers to upgrade to higher usage plans. In addition, operators could offer SIM-only plans with attractive bolt-on offers for data bundles to increase loyalty of bandit device users.

In addition to its Mobile Insights report, Openwave also introduced the general availability of Openwave Accelerator 2.1, the next release of the web optimisation product. Accelerator 2.1 supports an intelligent web caching feature which leverages a real-time analytics feed of the most popular content sites being requested in order to prioritise what content to cache.

“We believe that the ability to make accurate assessments of subscriber behavior in batch mode as well as real-time and to act upon those findings is crucial for operators from both an operational and marketing standpoint,” said Anurag Patnaik, director of product management for analytics, Openwave. “Openwave Mobile Analytics allows operators to monitor data network usage, track emerging trends and act upon insights that can have positive outcomes for operators in terms of facilitating new revenue opportunities while also presenting positive ramifications for various players within the mobile ecosystem.”