Mobile Net outpaces overall Web growth

16:33, April 23, 2010      

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China's mobile Internet growth is expected to outpace the overall average growth of Internet use by seven percentage points in 2011, Web service consulting firm iResearch Group announced Thursday. The prediction means companies can expect market opportunities but also fierce competition.

The overall Internet economy, including the mobile Internet market, is expected to reach 156.5 billion yuan ($22.91 billion) this year, while the mobile Internet market alone is expected to reach 22.69 billion yuan ($3.32 billion) this year, up from 14.88 billion yuan ($2.18 billion) in 2009, said Cao Junbo, chief analyst of iResearch Group, at a summit the group hosted Thursday in Beijing.

Mobile Internet refers to Web service on cellular phones. Mobile Internet will see 78 percent growth and, for the first time, will outpace the average growth of the overall Internet market, he said.

Even conservative growth estimates expect the number of mobile Internet users to reach 350 million this year. Users of mobile Internet and Internet accessed through traditional computers will draw even in 2012, with each having about 600 million users, Cao said.

But Cao said if mobile Internet fees drop, there is a possibility its users could outnumber people accessing the Internet through PCs by 2012.

The high-speed connections it offers, as well as the convenience of integrated networks, have helped 3G technology grow faster than the regular Internet, Cao said.

"It took 15 years for China's Internet to evolve to business applications, but it could take three to five years for mobile Internet to get there," he said.

Mobile Internet is distinguished from its traditional counterpart by add-on services like mobile phone payment platforms, ID recognition and location applications.

"I believe service providers focusing on these areas will have opportunities for development," Cao said.

This year's iResearch survey showed a change in the demographics of mobile Internet users versus last year. More were female, more were students between the ages of 18-24, more had a higher education level and a high income, and average users spent longer hours surfing online through their mobile phones.

Source: Global Times

(Editor:黄硕)

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