The Mobile Communications Industry Demonstrates Momentum

The GSMA today reported that more than 49,000* visitors from 200 countries attended the 2010 GSMA Mobile World Congress, the premier event for the mobile communications industry. The four-day conference and exhibition attracted executives from the world’s largest and most influential mobile operators, software companies, equipment providers, Internet companies and media and entertainment organisations, as well as government delegations. 54 per cent of Mobile World Congress attendees hold C-level positions, including more than 2,800 CEOs.

“It’s a hugely exciting time to be in the mobile communications industry and the extremely strong attendance at the 2010 Mobile World Congress underscores that,” said John Hoffman, CEO, GSMA Limited.  “The innovation that is the hallmark of our industry was on display front and centre this week, from the insightful presentations in our conference programme to the demonstrations of new devices, technologies and services in the exhibition halls.  Once again, Mobile World Congress stands out as the must-attend event for the global communications industry.”

During the event, leaders from companies including Alcatel-Lucent, BBC, Bharti Airtel, China Unicom, Ericsson, Huawei, KDDI, RIM, Samsung, Spotify, Telstra and Vodafone, among others, discussed and debated the trends and issues which are shaping the mobile industry today and into the future.  In a Mobile World Congress first, Google Chairman and CEO Eric Schmidt delivered a Mobile World Live keynote to a standing-room only crowd in Barcelona; the session has also been viewed by more than 35,000 people to date via the Mobile World Live portal.  To access the replay of the Mobile World Live keynote, as well as interviews with the industry’s leading executives, please visit www.mobileworldlive.com.

More than 20,000 people visited the inaugural App Planet, a focused event designed to bring together the many critical elements of the broad mobile application ecosystem together in one location. Google, Motorola, RIM, Sony Ericsson, Vodafone and WIPJam each held application developer conferences (ADC) within App Planet.  Overall, more than 6,000 developers attended Mobile World Congress this year.

The 2010 Congress featured 1,300 exhibiting companies and occupied more than 56,000 net square metres of exhibition and business meeting space.  Nearly 2,400 international print, Web and broadcast media attended the event to analyse and report on the many significant industry announcements made at the Congress.

“The GSMA is committed to holding the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona through 2012,” continued Hoffman. “We thank the city of Barcelona, Catalonia, Fira de Barcelona and all our Barcelona partners for being such warm and efficient hosts, and we look forward to being back here next year.”

Sponsors for the 2010 Mobile World Congress included LG Electronics as Platinum Sponsor and Generalitat de Catalunya as Mobile Innovations Platinum Sponsor.  For more information on the 2010 Mobile World Congress, please visit www.mobileworldcongress.com.

Note to editors

*This figure includes all attendees for the event, including delegates, exhibitors, contractors and media

About the GSMA

The GSMA represents the interests of the worldwide mobile communications industry. Spanning 219 countries, the GSMA unites nearly 800 of the world’s mobile operators, as well as more than 200 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem, including handset makers, software companies, equipment providers, Internet companies, and media and entertainment organisations. The GSMA is focused on innovating, incubating and creating new opportunities for its membership, all with the end goal of driving the growth of the mobile communications industry.

For more information, please visit Mobile World Live, the new online portal for the mobile communications industry, at www.mobileworldlive.com or the GSMA corporate website at www.gsmworld.com.

Consumer loyalty patterns reflecting intense competition in mobile

New research suggests that mobile consumers in Western Europe are displaying less loyalty than those in North America by spreading their mobile connections across multiple operators. The new study, commissioned by Wireless Intelligence, aims to identify the impact that multiple mobile connections per user is having on customer loyalty patterns (a mobile connection is defined as either a SIM card or a unique mobile phone number in markets where SIM cards are not used).

More than two thirds of users with multiple mobile connections in the US and Canada remained loyal to a single mobile operator, while less than 40 percent of consumers in the ‘big five’ European markets (UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain) were likely to keep all their mobile connections with one operator. The least ‘loyal’ market in the study was Italy – a market where the vast majority of consumers maintain more than one mobile connection (around 1.77 SIM cards per user). According to the study, 81 percent of Italians spread their mobile connections across different network providers with only 19 percent remaining loyal. This trend is magnified by the absence of handset subsidies and the large prepaid connections base (prepaid accounted for 84 percent of Italian mobile connections in 2Q09). This has led to a price war in the prepaid segment, which is driving down effective price per minute and voice revenues. In order to differentiate and generate additional profits, Italian operators are now focusing on value-added services and innovative propositions to push their brands forward. In this context, our research also found that Italy has is approaching saturation with ‘real’ penetration currently at 85 percent – compared to reported per-connections penetration at 151 percent. The study found that Italian women were less loyal than men (83 percent compared to 78 percent), and that users in the 20 to 30 year age range were least likely to stay loyal to a single operator.

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