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Mobile growth in Eastern Europe

October 28th, 2010 by Talya

Several months ago, Mobile Marketer mentioned a study by Frost & Sullivan that predicted a mobile broadband boom in Central and Eastern Europe, predicting that mobile broadband use would grow from 2% to 10% within the next five years. Another study by ABI Research reports similar findings. This study claims that the average revenue in the mobile market in both Eastern and Western Europe will grow by a rate of 1.7% over the next four years. Of course, not enough time has passed yet to know if these numbers are going to end up entirely accurate, but we do see that mobile web usage is growing, so our guess is that they will be close. Let’s explore some of the reasons why.

Central and Eastern European countries are still considered an emerging market, so the growth of the mobile web in these countries should not be a shocker. In any emerging market you will see certain sectors grow, and in these days, as mobile web usage is growing in areas all over the world, we see that CEE  (central and eastern European) countries are no exception.

There are also more concrete reasons that explain the current (and predicted) mobile broadband growth. One is that there is a lack of solid infrastructure in many areas for traditional broadband, so mobile is often the only way to go. This would be particularly true in rural areas, according to Frost & Sullivan, as broadband penetration in such areas is still very limited. Mobile will likely fill the void.

Another interesting fact is that Eastern Europeans are already using mobile phones as much as Western Europeans (with a subscription penetration of 130 percent in both parts of Europe), so as smartphones and iphone usage increases, so too will mobile web use. Once again, this is a natural conclusion.