Mobile content has become popular among consumers in Qatar, where almost everyone owns a mobile phone, according to a study by the Supreme Council of Information and Communication Technology (ictQatar).
The popularity of mobile content can be attributed to high demand for mobile phones in the country. A study has disclosed that mobile phone penetration in the country could reach 170 percent, meaning most consumers own two mobile phones each, while according to conservative estimates, more than 90 percent of the population owns a cellphone.
The emergence of “smart phones” with high bandwidth capacity that offer streaming video, direct Internet access, music, games and a variety of applications to consumers with just a touch of the screen or by pressing a few keys has driven leading telecommunication companies to introduce innovative products and packages, the study showed.
Recognising the consumers’ appetite for enhanced mobile content, Qtel has been offering special packages for mobile broadband connectivity and special content through its Mozaic promotion. It is likely that Vodafone will offer alternative yet unique packages once it begins full-fledged operations.
“The opening of the telecoms market to competition will likely bring innovation in the products and services available here. As regulator, ictQatar tends to take a technology-neutral approach to allow this innovation to take place. Mobile content is certainly one area where we may witness creative offerings,”” said William Fagan, Executive Director of ictQatar’s Regulatory Authority.
Experts agree there is good potential for the development of mobile content but raised concerns about its applications. “For mobile content to really be beneficial and adopted, it must be relevant locally,” said Gaetano Borriello, Adjunct Professor in the Information School at the University of Washington at a panel discussion during the recent International Conference on Information and Communication Technologies and Development (ICTD) held in Doha.
“It’s not just corporations or service providers that should be developing the content and applications,” said David Edelstein, Director of ICT Innovation at the Grameen Technology Center. “User-generated content is often the most useful and most widely adopted.”
Ken Banks of Kiwanja.net, an organisation that is helping non-profit organisations make better use of ICT in their work, stressed that there is often a lot of content that exists and would be valuable to consumers, but it is not available in a mobile-friendly way. “People who want to provide content over mobile phones must be willing to create information in a format that can be viewed on a small mobile device,” he said.
Note: iLoveQatar.net has been supporting all forms of devices for a while now. ILQ is iPhone supported, QMail changes its interface depending on the device, Mr. Q's blog changes depending on your device, AND the forum will be supported too!
Follow us on our social media channels: