Brazil, Russia, India and China Set for Mobile Boom
Published on: 18th Jun 2008
Note -- this news article is more than a year old.
Brazil, Russia, India and China collectively known as BRIC represent the next great growth curve for both the mobile and interactive marketing industries. Home to over 40% of the world's population, the BRIC countries form the core of an emergent global middle class that will number over 1 billion people by 2015. eMarketer projects that the BRIC countries will account for over 1.7 billion mobile phone subscribers by 2012 and expects over 680 million subscribers to access the mobile Internet.
Mobile will be the primary interactive screen for this new generation of consumers, and no major advertising agency can pitch a global brand without referencing its BRIC assets and capabilities, especially those in China and India. Likewise, the largest global telecommunications companies have bet a large amount of their future growth on sales to BRIC-based mobile operators.
"Mobile is the Internet for an increasingly large and attractive consumer segment -- an important distinction for marketers to keep in mind," said John du Pre Gauntt, senior analyst and author of the new report, "Mobile BRIC: Extreme Growth Ahead."
"As these huge populations within BRIC accumulate disposable income, they are poised to form interactive relationships with local and global brands primarily through the mobile phone," he added. "With PC and broadband penetration far below that of mobile, marketers and mobile operators find themselves in uncharted territory."
Five of the world's 10 largest cities are located in BRIC, along with four of the five top markets for new mobile subscribers. Rapid growth in entertainment and media consumption in the BRIC countries is important for marketers looking to interact with mobile consumers.
BRIC countries also have extremely high levels of prepaid mobile service -- often more than 75% of the entire mobile customer base. As a result, there are far more opportunities for marketers to subsidize or sponsor part of basic mobile services such as voice minutes, text messages and even some mobile Internet access.
Even in 2008, the rate of mobile Internet use in the BRIC countries is either comparable to or above that of the US and Western Europe. For many of these markets, debates over whether mobile is an extension of or a substitute for the Web have little relevance -- the mobile phone is the Web for millions, and soon hundreds of millions, of people.