This paper presents the situation of the mobile services market in France, based on a survey conducted in the city of Montpellier, in November- December 2006. After a presentation of the existing research background related with mobile services, the article presents the research objectives and the research methodology applied to collect primary data for this project. The results of statistical data analysis are then presented and discussed, allowing an identification of the main consumer segments in terms of characteristics, attitudes and behaviours. The paper ends with a summary of the findings, and with suggestions for future research.
Background: The Development Of Mobile Services Market
A specific characteristic of mobile-business is that a person using mobile services can conduct business anywhere, even when out of office, travelling between places, or visiting a different location (Kristofferson, & Ljungberg, 2000).
The technological features of 3G mobile phones permit the transmission as well as downloading of multimedia files. This facility has increased the range of mobile services that can be offered to consumers. In addition to the classical voice-based communication and SMS, the new mobile services add the MMS –Multimedia Message Service, and increase the web browsing capabilities.
Mobile communication technology is also used by enterprises – either to send adverts to individual mobile phone users (Spurgeon, 2005), or to use the mobile phone as a communication tool for the highly mobile employees/entrepreneurs (Donner, 2005). New business models have been already introduced in order to increase the effectiveness of specific mobile phone services.
These new areas of applications have triggered an interest among researchers regarding the consumer profiles and how these profiles affect the evolution of the market for mobile services. Some researchers investigated the adaptation of advertising techniques to the interactive characteristics of the new communication tools (Spurgeon, 2005) while others investigated consumers’ profile and their willingness to adopt and use various mobile services (Donner, 2005; Leppäniemi, & Karjaluoto, 2005; Mort, & Drennan, 2005; Suoranta, & Mattila, 2004), or the importance of mobile marketing in the promotion mix of companies (Karjaluoto, Leppäniemi, & Salo, 2004).
Key Terms in this Chapter
WAP (Wireless Application Protocol): A set of communication protocols that standardise the use of various wireless devices for Internet access.
MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service): A communications technology developed by 3GPP (Third Generation Partnership Project) that allows users to exchange multimedia communications between capable mobile phones and other devices.
3G Technology: 3G represents the third generation of mobile communications technology, which offers increased bandwidth, permitting the quick transfer of large data files
Mobile Internet: The possibility to access the World Wide Web through a wireless device, such as a cellular telephone or personal digital assistant (PDA)
Mobile Marketing: The application of marketing operations using mobile wireless devices.
2G Technology: 2nd-generation technology represents digital wireless technology standards, which, in comparison with analog wireless standards(1G), permit an increase data transmission capacity
SMS: A feature available on modern mobile phones that allow users to send and receive short text messages.
Mobile advertising: Direct and personalized advertising transmitted through wireless devices.