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Ten 2008 Mobile Predictions

new year predictionsIt’s a silly excercise, but everybody does it.  After a banner year for mobile in Canada, here are 10 outrageous predictions for 2008:  

  1. SMS third-party advertising – every SMS you send is 150 characters…most of which is sent as blank space. I predict new services will take advantage of this in 2008 to deliver SMS advertising to off-set mobile costs for the consumer (but only if they opt-in of course)
  2. Mobile Web advertising will take a piece of your media buy. We’ve seen it happen with online media…now with more inventory becoming available off-deck, the time is right to test and pilot this channel
  3. MMS Common Short Codes will finally arrive and usher us into a new era in Mobile marketing in Canada….or at least catch us up to the rest of the world.
  4. Mobile payments (m-Commerce) will start to emerge from text books, blogs, and sales pitches.  Look for pilots from Interac, Visa and at least one of the major banks next year.
  5. The iphone will finally arrive in Canada – but it will be the second generation 3G phone that will support higher internet access speeds and cool features like video calling. This will be offered exclusively on the Rogers network – but don’t be surprised if another non-mobile retailer offers them for sale first
  6. Fixed or low-cost data plans will be universal across all carriers in Canada. It’s already started with Bell and Rogers now offers an $80 / month plan for 500 megs of data – plenty for most of us. It’s still a long way from other plans around the world that are 4 times cheaper or better, but it’s a start
  7. Due to fixed or low-cost data plans, look for the mobile web to catch fire.  Marketing campaigns will start incorporating mobile web strategies as part of their marketing mix
  8. A new mobile carrier will be announced. The Canadian government announced the opening of new spectrum and is reserving a piece of it for a new player and with special engagement rules that will make it easier for a new competitor to enter the market.
  9. Google will continue its charge towards world mobile domination. Look for their gphone sometime in the 3rd quarter and look for them to either bid on spectrum in the U.S., buy a carrier like Sprint outright to own a piece without having to go through the auction process or leverage their new mobile platform called Android to get direct access to many subscribers across many carriers.
  10. Social Networking will make the leap from desktop to Mobile as a primary interface / access point 

Even if only a few of these come to fruition in 2008, it will be a great year for Marketers and a great year for Consumers.

Happy Holidays!