Mobile Email on the Verge of Mass Market Adoption


A new report by Datamonitor expects the number of mobilized email accounts to explode over the next three years. According to the report there are roughly 650 million corporate email inboxes worldwide today. Based on the assumption that at least 35-40% of these inboxes could potentially be mobilized, Datamonitor estimates the global addressable market for enterprise mobile email at around 260 million subscriptions. According to Datamonitor, mobile operators are in a position to make the most of the upsurge in growth anticipated for mobile email.

As differentiation becomes more difficult, pricing and partnerships will become key factors in achieving growth.

Datamonitor expects the growth in the enterprise mobile email market to come from two concurrent trends: an increase in the breadth of deployment, where enterprises that have already deployed mobile email would increase the number of employees who have mobile email access; and an increase in penetration.

In a recent Datamonitor survey, 50% of the European enterprises interviewed indicated they have already deployed mobile email solutions. Mobile Personal information management (PIM) lagged behind slightly with 34% of respondents saying they had already deployed a mobile PIM solution.

This is a notable increase compared to the results of a similar survey conducted in 2004 where mobile email penetration was at 39% and mobile PIM penetration was at 28%. Another interesting trend in the survey was an even steeper increase in the number of respondents saying they plan to deploy mobile email and mobile PIM over the next 12 months.

Datamonitor expects global mobile operators’ revenues from enterprise mobile email and PIM alone to surpass US$600 million by 2009 – over three times those of 2005.

“Mobile operators have every interest in rolling out mobile email solutions to their networks,” says Alaa Owaineh. “They see mobile email as an indispensable element in their competitive strategy. It will allow them to use excess bandwidth on their networks, especially after their 2.5G/3G network upgrades, reduce subscriber churn, and eventually become a major source of revenue further down the line.”

Mobile email infrastructure providers’ revenues will continue to grow, albeit at a much slower rate than operators’ revenues, due to operators’ increasing dominance in the value chain. Despite its slower growth Datamonitor’s outlook for this segment of the market remains positive.

Mobile email solution providers will need to forge stable, long-term partnerships with mobile operators, device manufacturers, mobile operating system vendors, and systems integrators. This has several benefits to their business, and will allow them to exploit all possible sales channels. Partnerships allow for more product innovation, and would make it significantly easier to achieve compatibility with the widest possible range of devices and mobile operating systems.

Owaineh concludes: “Mobile email is on the verge of mass market adoption, and the number of mobilized email accounts will explode over the next three years. As differentiation becomes more difficult, pricing and partnerships will become key factors in achieving growth.”