IDC says its latest research in the consumer mobile market has identified the i-mode platform, developed by Japan's NTT DoCoMo, as having the qualities needed to combat the accelerating the downward spiral of ARPU for cellular services.
IDC has found that, as a mobile market matures and its subscriber base reaches saturation, mobile operators begin to feel the creep of stagnation and commoditisation, accelerating the downward spiral of ARPU.
"Advancing consumer behaviour and revolutionising mobile services can be accomplished, as seen in the i-mode platform. Business entities in the mobile ecosystem need to quickly align themselves towards achieving this common strategic goal," said Jerson Yau, IDC Australia's associate analyst for wireless and mobility. "This paradigm shift can be evolutionary, but its expediency must border on the revolutionary, else a valuable window of opportunity in uplifting consumer behaviour may pass by."
A new IDC study, titled "Follow The Yellow Brick Road: The Consumer, The Carrier, and The i-mode Platform" examines the roadmap of NTT DoCoMo's i-mode platform and how emerging mobile non-voice applications have used it as a vehicle to enter the mobile market. "From the genesis of the i-mode platform to the mobile applications that have punctuated its success, i-mode is an exemplary realisation of convergence on the mobile platform of highly advanced mobile applications that facilitates peoples' everyday lifestyles," IDC claims.
However, it adds that "Exporting the i-mode platform and translating NTT DoCoMo's success with it into other mobile markets requires a great deal of tailoring and compromise by the local mobile operators. Mobile operators who do not see the results they had hoped for by offering i-mode react drastically. They either devalue the platform or abandon it - causing uncertainty with their customers and peers alike."
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