Tablets could spur mobile data boom
MOBILE| May 24, 2011, 3:27 p.m.
South African telecoms solutions firm Nashua Mobile says tablet computers are surging in popularity and could spark added demand for mobile data.
The company expects the rapidly growing tablet computer market to spark new demand for mobile data that will handsomely benefit South African cellular operators and service providers in the next few months.
That’ s the word from Tim Walter, executive head of marketing at Nashua Mobile. He notes that Gartner forecasts that annual global tablet shipments will jump from less than 18 million in 2010 to 294 million in 2015. Much of this growth is cannibalising worldwide sales of PCs and notebooks as end-users start to consume more of their media on the run from their tablet computers.
Says Walter: “ The runaway success of the iPad and the iPad 2 in the South African market indicates that there is a real hunger among local consumers and business users for tablet computers with cellular data connections. Apple’ s local distribution and retail partner sold hundreds of iPad 2 units within hours of the product hitting the shelves on April 29.
“ Unusually for a computer product launch in South Africa, people were queuing for the iPad 2 before stores even opened on that day. The most popular models of the iPad 2 were those with both 3G and Wi-Fi connectivity, which sold out in many stores within the space of a few hours. That’ s just a taste of the growth to come from the tablet market.”
Walter says that the tablet market can be expected to enjoy strong growth in the coming months, with new Android tablets from the likes of Motorola arriving in South Africa as well as the upcoming launch of the BlackBerry PlayBook.
“ Users have only a few tablet options to choose from right now – basically, it’ s the Apple iPad or Samsung’ s Android-based Galaxy Tab. But that picture is changing fast. With more choice from June onwards, more competition and more marketing, we can expect to see the tablet market really take off,” Walter says.
“ Since so many tablets ship with integrated 3G connectivity, this will be good news for mobile operators, opening up a whole new market for them to address.” Although initial shipments of the BlackBerry PlayBook and some of the other new devices may be Wi-Fi only models, tablets with 3G connectivity will eventually dominate the market, believes Walter.
Walter says that some of the growth will come at the expense of cellular data usage on smartphones and notebooks, but much of it will be new. End-users will begin to devour more cellular data as they use their tablets to browse the Web, send and receive emails, read magazines and books, play online games, watch video and use business applications.
Walter says that to capitalise on the growth of the tablet market, service providers and operators will need to put together affordable data bundles, possibly with subsidised hardware. Eventually, this market will add up to a substantial opportunity since tablet users will be consuming a lot of data to cater for their appetite for rich online media and applications, he concludes.
MORE MOBILE NEWS
Surfline Ghana to celebrate customers with appreciation weekSurfline Communications is set to kick-start its Customer Appreciation Week with a commitment to continuing offering customers and businesses first-rate customer service. Read More
MTN names new Group President & CEOMTN has announced plans to appoint Vodacom executive Rob Shuter as the new MTN Group President and CEO. Read More
Airtel, Tigo Ghana sanctioned in NCA 3G ReportGhana’s National Communication Authority has sanctioned Airtel and Tigo Ghana for failing to cover district capitals, including Karaga, Bimbilla and Wulensi, with a 3G network. Read More
Surfline Ghana partners this year’s MOBEXSurfline Communications says it has partnered Coaster International and other stakeholders to present Ghana’s biggest ICT fair and seminar, MOBEX 2016. Read More
New Airtel Premier Retail shop opens at the Achimota MallAirtel has opened a bespoke customer experience center at the Achimota Mall to exclusively cater to the telecommunication and lifestyle needs of its high value and Premier customers. Read More
MTN Rwanda launches youth campaignMTN Rwanda has announced the launch of its new youth proposition campaign which is targeted at the youthful subscribers on its network. Read More
Internet of Things to overtake mobile phones by 2018: Ericsson Mobility ReportEricsson Mobility Report reveals that the Internet of Things (IoT) is set to overtake mobile phones as the largest category of connected device by 2018. Read More
Safaricom launches youth platformSafaricom has announced the launch of BLAZE, a platform that seeks to empower youth using the power of mobile. Read More
Vodafone sweeps awards in two separate eventsVodafone Ghana is cementing its reputation for social media excellence, with a series of awards. Read More
Winners emerge in Samsung’s “Inspire Bigger Dreams” campaignThe Samsung Electronics “Inspire Bigger Dreams” competition has produced three winners. The campaign was aimed at encouraging Nigerians to keep their dreams alive, dream bigger and aspire to greater heights. Read More
FEATURED STORYGovernment should encourage youths in ICT early
Youths should be given more encouragement to develop their ICT skills, an 11-year-old app developer told Kokumo Goodie.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHIBM Opens First Cloud Data Centre in South Africa
IBM is opening a new IBM Cloud Data Centre in Johannesburg, South Africa. The new cloud center is the result of a close collaboration with Gijima and Vodacom and is designed to support cloud adoption and customer demand across the continent.
COMPANY NEWSTigo Business – Building trusted business partner relationships with clients
Tigo Business has increased and empowered its account management team to improve its overall customer service experience.