I had the pleasure of attending CTIA in Las Vegas this past week. While CTIA tends to be more North American focused, they put together some good discussion panels. Some of the more interesting ones had to do with Messaging, Mobile Search, Mobile Video, Femtocells and User Generated Content (UGC). Of all these applications, I think the downloading and exchange of UGC has the broadest potential. Why? Because the peer-to-peer generation is geared towards this type of communication. Nobody wants to pay for anything these days, but everybody wants to exchange information.
Messaging is in great shape, with some astronomical claims on the up-take in the messaging market especially in the last 6 months of 2008 (620B messages) . Could it be that historical presidential elections and economic melt-downs are a cause for instant user-to-user communications? Probably, in which case we should see a drop-off in 2009. One claim we heard was that 23% of all messaging revenue is due to images being sent, versus only 5% of revenue just 3 years ago. I find this particularly interesting as I am sure most of it is due to my kids sending pictures to all their friends.
Will video to the mobile handset take the world by storm? One estimate I heard claims 69% of all mobile traffic will be video by 2013. one could argue that even a short video clip is 1000 times as much information as a simple SMS message, but however it all pans out in the long run, it appears femtocells will be the salvation of video. Without the spectrum replication created by femtocell architectures, there simply is not going to be enough bandwidth to enable all the video that users are looking to consume.