Is it worth the hassle to work with telcos?

With the TC3 Summit, the annual meeting of global carriers and startups and vendors, just weeks away - Derek Kerton, Chairman of the Telecom Council of Silicon Valley examines the historically rocky relationship between startups and telcos, and asks the question, is forming a partnership worth the hassle? Since the late 90s, the pendulum has swung back and forth for startups considering partnering with phone companies. Early this century, many VCs, dot com, and Internet companies were drawn to the allure of the mobile Internet. But the network operators were so clumsy at partnering with … [Read more...]

Six Essential Insights into the Indonesian App Market

Josh Fenn, Senior Marketing Manager at internet giant & MEF Member Baidu, shares his six tips for understanding the burgeoning mobile applications market in Indonesia, as well as a wealth of data from the MoboMarket Android App store, which boasts 4 million monthly active users in Indonesia. With a population of over 250 million people, Indonesia is an increasingly important market for mobile developers. But it’s difficult to know the most effective way to reach Indonesian users unless you can get an inside peek into how people there are searching for, downloading and updating … [Read more...]

Why Google And Apple Want A Piece Of The Connected Car Pie

The Automotive industry is getting mobile.  Connectivity that includes WiFi, in-car entertainment and access to traffic information as well as M2M features like car diagnostics is already a feature of high-end vehicles.  What's interesting is how this market will be driven.  On one hand, car manufacturers are increasingly bringing in platforms that capture these features, on the other both Apple and Google, as well as mobile operators have made it clear - automotive is a market that they are interested in. BI Intelligence estimates that by 2020, 75 per cent of cars shipped globally will be … [Read more...]

Path-To-Purchase: How Smartphones Are Disrupting Consumers’ Retail Journeys

A consumer’s journey, which was predictable and straightforward until a few years ago, has now become sketchy and complex. Driven by technology, the retail industry is undergoing a paradigm shift. The traditional, linear path-to-purchase is being replaced by the checkered path of the modern consumer whose purchase journey is across a multitude of channels from desktops and laptops to smartphones, tablets, connected televisions, and wearable devices. The biggest challenge faced by an advertiser is to understand a customer’s journey across these devices and deliver personalized content that … [Read more...]

Understanding the key tax requirements in India’s $137 billion m-commerce market

Internet use in India has grown massively - mostly through the availability and adoption of mobile, with a reported 300 million people now online. In tandem, e-commerce is also experiencing major growth with home grown companies like Flipkart as well as international e-commerce outfits like Amazon, all generating profit from the newly internet enabled Indian consumer. However, with commerce comes new levels of complexity when it comes to tax and VAT.  Here Rajeev Agarwal Desai Haribhakti & Co. Partner International Tax & Regulatory (Independent member firm of Baker Tilly India) … [Read more...]

Grey Routes Pose Hidden Threat to Text Messaging

In this guest blog post, Syniverse's Chris Wright, Senior Carrier Services Director, explores the murky depths of "grey route" text messaging whereby fraudulent messages can be sent to individuals by unscrupulous spammers and scammers. The post looks at how these pertain to operators, how they have grown, how they hurt operators and how they can be stopped. For even more insight, check out the accompanying podcasts which look at the threat for enterprises and what can be done to counter it. In a mobile world of multiple devices, operating systems and service providers, SMS continues to be one … [Read more...]

Mobile payment drivers: why we need to incentivise users

Mobile payments are growing globally.  With Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Android Pay all maneuvering to capture market share, much of the future growth is touted to come from NFC payments - in-store (in developed markets at least).  For the consumer however the process of unlocking a phone, signing in, sending payment, receiving an e-receipt etc, is perhaps - when compared to tap and pay card payments- still a process that has *friction*. Here John Doornbusch, Solution Architect at global mobile payments provider and MEF member Novatti discusses what the mobile money levers are and how to … [Read more...]

Will Native Advertising Go Mainstream in 2015?

For the advertising world, 2014 was "the year of native". Everyone, from ad networks to consumer brands and TV presenters made moves to capitalize on the virility associated with these ads.  And their success marks how the industry is changing to offer digital experiences that hold consumers' attention using technology that makes ads much more contextual and unobtrusive. Here, Chief Product Officer, Piyush Shah at MEF Member InMobi discusses some of the key benefits as native ads on mobile continue to catch fire. Native advertising has been evolving at breakneck speed over the past few … [Read more...]

InMobi Insights: The Dynamics of a Booming App Economy

With MEF Global Forum Mobile First Markets less than three weeks away, Pooja Kallor, Global Insights Analyst from MEF member, InMobi, continues an analysis of the global mobile app ecosystem, assessing the factors that are stimulating growth in emerging markets worldwide. In the previous blog, we laid out the regional landscape for app developers in terms of share, app install costs and app earnings. We also explored the OS landscape across regions. In this blog, we move forward and explore the dynamics of a booming mobile app economy - factors driving mobile app growth and it’s … [Read more...]

Strategising safety for the Internet of Things – TRUSTe

What happens when 50 billion machines connect? That’s one of the big questions privacy advocates, business leaders and government agencies are asking themselves when strategising for the future safety of our data as the Internet of Things (IoT) grows. The privacy challenges of today’s connected world can seem daunting – and these challenges will continue to deepen as the IoT expands. Anyone interested in connected technology or buying smart gadgets knows that connected devices are everywhere. Ideas such as the connected car, the connected home (refrigerator, heating and air conditioning, … [Read more...]

What is Two-Factor Authentication? – Mblox

The widespread distribution of the internet and mobile devices means that more and more consumers are able to perform transactions, interact with their banks or simply book a holiday online, wherever they are, whenever they want.  As consumers we expect this spontaneity. Simple transactional processes are played out on every device, every day by nearly everybody. Hackers, bots and identity theft sit uncomfortably alongside the increased use and freedom to use transactional services. And in general, all that protects consumers is a few characters and numbers that are tapped in to the password … [Read more...]

Monetizing the Next Two Billion: Business Models for Emerging Markets – App Annie Insights

The scale of mobile has become a hot topic among technology investors, and rightfully so, with the mobile industry dwarfing the size of other technology sub-verticals. The smartphone installed base is quickly approaching 2 billion and may have already overtaken PCs. This is incredibly impressive given that the smartphone revolution only began in 2007, whereas the PC paradigm took hold decades ago. But we aren’t close to being done yet. As prices for hardware and data plans continue to drop, the smartphone installed base is expected to exceed 4 billion within the next five years. Feature … [Read more...]

MEF Connects Nigeria – a view from the floor

Managing Director for Africa & Chief Communications Officer of Basebone James McNab shares his account of the recent MEF Connects Nigeria, held during Mobile West Africa 2015. Nigeria is well documented as a rapidly growing economy and no more so in the mobile sector. MEF’s recent Global Consumer Survey showed Nigerian consumers see their device as an essential part of everyday life with bookings, scanning barcodes and location based surveys having all risen by half year on year. The study also identified a significant boost for health and fitness and medical apps. The inaugural MEF … [Read more...]

Carrier Billing: The Price is Right…

Andy Bovingdon VP of Product Marketing at Bango, discusses pricing strategies for app developers considering carrier billing as a payment mechanism, and shares some invaluable learnings based on data and trends from their popular payment platform, to help maximise your app sales. Carrier billing – charging a digital purchase to the phone bill – makes consumers five times more likely to complete an app store purchase than if they used a credit card. This drives a huge revenue boost to developers. Bango processes millions of carrier billed payments for Google Play, Samsung GALAXY Apps, … [Read more...]

1.3 million Android attacks last year: ten steps to mobile security

Mobile's onward march is well documented.  In a blink, phone penetration has reached a reported 6.8 billion (the population of the earth is 7 billion) and the next iteration of connectivity will see wearable devices shape a future that was unimaginable when the first text message was sent in the early eighties.  But with mass adoption comes plenty of threats. Just like computers, viruses, malware, and hacking are a constant menace. Here Alexander Erofeev, Chief Marketing Officer at security specialists, and MEF member, Kaspersky Lab, shares his 10 insights on the size of the problem and how … [Read more...]

Privacy in mobile apps: there’s no such thing as a free lunch

MEF's recent Global Consumer Trust Survey found that 30 per cent of mobile media users cite trust as the single largest obstacle to using mobile to purchase goods and services.  Concerns focus on the privacy of user data.  Why would an app want to access data on my location, my photos, or contacts for example?  Yet app developers and publishers need user data to monetize their services.  There is a clear need to balance the industry's requirement to gather data with consumer trust and privacy and transparency. Here Paul Palmer, Vice President, APAC region of F-Secure explores how consumers … [Read more...]

Bluetooth Low Energy – at the intersection of retail, marketing and payments

The mobile payment ecosystem is characteristically fragmented with a host of different options that are vying for consumer attention as the technologies and services based on them progress toward maturity. NFC, Direct Operator Billing and Bluetooth Low Energy all have their strengths as transactional platforms whether that’s peer-to-peer, in-store or online and they all have a common goal: convenient, frictionless payments. Arguably, the focus on convenience hasn’t yet led to wholesale consumer adoption so stakeholders are keen to take a broader approach that focuses on making mobile … [Read more...]

Thailand’s insatiable data hunger – and how to keep it growing

With MEF Connects Thailand just two weeks away, our keynote speaker for the evening, Telenor’s EVP and Head of Asia, Sigve Brekke, shares insights on Thailand's unbridled enthusiasm for connectivity and the internet, and how mobile technology has the potential to prove a truly transformative force for good in the rapidly growing economy. Among our six Asian markets, Thailand has the largest appetite for data, digital communication and internet. It’s this hunger that makes Thailand unique. It’s this hunger that we see as driving Thailand’s bourgeoning mobile technology ecosystem. It’s this … [Read more...]

Mobile Convention London: Privacy and trust key to mobile success

At the recent Mobile Convention London, the first London based edition of the established Mobile Convention series (previously held in Amsterdam and Brussels) delegates from across the mobile tech industry heard from a range of visionary speakers on mobile engagement strategies. Amongst the many lessons, one stood out in particular: technology shouldn't be prioritised over user experience, engagement, privacy and trust. For technology and gadgets to be successful, developers need to consider their UX and find a way to win trust from their users. Here, Erik Eggens of CM Telecom shares his … [Read more...]

Nigeria – it’s a mobile market, but not as you know it. . .

As part of its ongoing pan-African strategy, MEF is  hosting the inaugural MEF Connects Nigeria later this month in association with Basebone and Mozilla. Co-located with Mobile West Africa 2015,  attendees can learn more about this mobile-first market while networking with local carriers, pioneers and innovators. Here, Matthew Dawes, founder and CEO (that’s Chief Enabling Officer) of All Amber and Mobile West Africa 2015, shares his thoughts on why Nigeria is such an exciting place to do business. I’ve been involved in Nigerian telecommunications development (you might as well say … [Read more...]