Demand for mobile content services in South Africa will grow by an average of 15 per cent per year until 2013, according to a report from Frost & Sullivan.
The South African Mobile Content Services Market report attributes this growth to rising customer awareness about the availability of multiple services and applications.
This will allow South Africa's mobile users to benefit from the continuous development of content services as reductions in broadband costs offer cheaper internet access.
The research suggests that users are no longer downloading just content, and are sharing, personalising and creating the material.
At the same time, mobile content services are moving towards business communication and mobile advertising.
"The future of mobile content services is in transition from SMS and MMS to instant messaging, media and video blogging," said Lindsey McDonald, industry analyst at Frost & Sullivan.
"The building of mobile content communities and sharing of video clips is becoming the norm."
McDonald explained that consumers and corporate users are increasingly using content services as a form of communication with clients and as a way of building communities, not just for recreation.
South Africa's developed and developing infrastructure, combined with geographical hindrances to fixed-line implementations, make it an ideal market for accelerated mobile internet adoption.
However, the report warned that mobile content providers are having difficulty differentiating themselves from competitors in the market, making market penetration and customer loyalty a challenge.
"Continuous innovation and provision of quality customer service is one way mobile content providers can differentiate their services in the market," said McDonald.
"Creating a variety of customised services based on customer needs would be an effective approach to use when creating content."
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