News came out last week that UK adults now spend more time on their smartphones and tablets than PCs. The next obvious target for mobile to surpass is television. TV is currently 38 minutes ahead of mobile usage per day, but given that time spent on mobile increased 27 minutes over the past year, while TV added just three, that target isn’t so far off.
Mobile operators are well placed to take advantage of our increasing dependence on the smartphone, but to succeed, they will need to address two factors; innovation and trust.
Innovation is the development of new services that improve the user experience, capitalizing on the assets they have in terms of customer data and insight. Mobile operators could tap into our love for streaming video, develop advanced messaging platforms, become the hub for new Internet of Things services, or even own the quantified self. They need to move quickly on these even as their rivals from completely different sectors battle for consumer attention.
Trust will be built by mobile operators showing that their networks and services are secure, even in light of almost daily cyber-attacks. It is one thing for a user to trust one app for a single service, quite another when you have the capabilities to offer so much more. Without trust, users won’t try new services that ask them to share personal information, something which could impact other service providers, from start-ups to massive conglomerates. If mobile operators can secure consumer buy-in, businesses will be able to tap into these scalable, secure, and robust platforms, and innovate and invest with confidence.
It all begins with getting the essentials right. This means developing solutions that are able to verify who people say they are, securely provision any device, and create a single user IDs for multiple services.
If the UK is anything to go by, people all over the world are turning more and more to their mobiles. As we continue to lean on them for entertainment and everyday tasks, their importance grows. It is imperative that we can trust our networks, providers and operators as our lives become ever more digital.