New Call Telecom CEO Nigel Eastwood on mobile trends in 2015

New Call Telecom CEO Nigel Eastwood has shared mobile and messaging trends in the telecom industry in 2015.

Increased adoption of smartphones will be leading to demand for internet connectivity and digital services. Over the last 12 months, the nature of this demand has changed. In the place of fixed-line services, the adoption of smartphones by consumers has created significant demand for Internet connectivity and digital services in all its forms. In 2015, this trend will accelerate.

The biggest growth area will be instant messaging and in-app calling through applications like Skype, WhatsApp and Nimbuzz. A recent GlobalWebIndex survey said that instant messaging applications grew by 113 percent over the last 2 years, driven by their low cost, the rising number of people who carry smartphones as well as the lack of the infrastructure to carry landline calls to remote regions.

Nimbuzz Holaa team with Nigel Eastwood and Vikas Saxena

Over the last few years, profitability from selling fixed-line connectivity has come under pressure. There has been a fierce price battle among telecoms for voice services, driving down prices to almost unprofitable levels. Telecoms will have to adjust their price points upwards, but this will drive more people to the very instant messaging and VoIP services that are, perhaps, already cannibalising their sales.

Telecoms have started to tailor their product offering, concentrating, instead, on selling unlimited data packages and competing on speed, price and coverage. As more companies enter this territory, prices and profits may also decline, leaving margins razor thin again.

Smart telecoms will move to acquire the social messaging platforms themselves. Telecoms will compete for app market share, making additional revenue by selling valued added services. They may, for example, turn their apps into ecommerce platforms, allowing companies and users to collect and receive micro-money transfers.

Demand for mobile money transfer services is high in the emerging markets because of the lack of existing infrastructure. This shift may pave the way for the Internet giants, like Google and Facebook, to transition into fully-fledged telecommunications companies themselves.

Image of Nigel Eastwood during Nimbuzz acquisition

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