600.000 mobile surfers in Belgium

On the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona early February, the development of the Mobile Internet was a main topic. For the first time, internet companies such as Google, Yahoo! and also Microsoft got more into the spotlight than the traditional exhibitors like Nokia, Samsung or the mobile operators.

Many presentations at the Mobile World Congress proved that operators are realizing that the mobile web and other media services are the way to the future. Consequently, there was a storm of announcements regarding new strategic developments on this area. Nokia formed a strategic alliance with Google. Yahoo! launched OneConnect, the link between your GSM and a range of social networks. The first prototypes of mobile phones equipped with Google’s Android operating system was eagerly presented. MSN Direct now also has a mobile version. Even the European Commission is now getting involved and wants to see a serious decrease of international roaming costs for consulting the mobile internet as of mid 2008.

So what about the development of the mobile web in Belgium? On the Web Goes Mobile seminar in November last year, Proximus and Mobistar came with an unprecendented exclusive: for the first time, numbers were presented in a joint presentation about the use of their mobile portals in Belgium. Some of these released figures are striking:
– Every month, 600.000 mobinauts visit the portal sites Vodafone Live! and Orange World
– Orange World and Vodafone Live! daily receive more than 65.000 users
2,5 million Belgians have a mobile internet compatible phone
More than 100 mobile internet sites are registered on PlazZza and every month 5 to 10 are added

With such figures, the mobile portals of the operators arrive in the Top 20 of the most visited websites according to the CIM/Metriweb chart. It won’t come as a surprise that both Proximus and Mobistar are now eyeing the advertising market with specific mobile marketing formulas.

600.000 mobile surfers in Belgium

Recent studies by InSites have shown that the mobile internet with the general public is mainly used by youngsters: 75% of the users is situated in the age category 15 – 35 years. There is also a large interest for the mobile web with professional users. For them, consulting mobile information means an important increase of their efficiency.

The offer on the mobile web currently concentrates mainly on the sale of mobile content: adult content, logos and ring tones, infotainment (news, weather, …). However, we can expect that there will be a rapid enlargement in the coming years. In France, where the development of the mobile internet is a few years ahead of Belgium, the consultation of weather forecasts on MétéoFrance was the most visited service in 2007, way ahead of the providers of ring tones.
The big guys are now getting ready to conquer the mobile web. It is up to you if you want to jump the band wagon and already now adjust your mobile internet strategy.

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