|With 3rd generation services (3G), GPRS, i-mode, CDMA 2000 and multi-media messaging services (MMS), taking off in 2003 and running all through 2004, market analyst EMC predicts prospective times for mobile data service companies, which include betting services.|
More than 115 million people will pay mobile phone networks for data services around the world this month reported EMC, while more than one billion consumers made voice-related calls, according to the GSM Association a worldwide trade organization. January 2004's forecast represents a 13 per cent increase over September 2003's total of 100 million users.
A large driver of this growth is from Japan and South Korea, where online gambling and 'adult content' are the key usage areas for mobile data services.
Most new mobile phone models support multimedia, on new generation networks such as GPRS, i-mode and 3G. This removes the technical barriers faced by mobile betting companies and online casinos which wanted to diversify into tele-betting.
With secure payment gateways, mobile gambling content and companies increasing, analysts believe the market is ripe enough to reach critical mass in 2004 and beyond.
The user base is only increasing each year says the GSM Association. In 2003 alone, more than 227 million new digital mobile phones were sold.
To gauge the potential, EMC calculates there were some 16 million users of European GPRS networks and 38.5 million i-mode subscribers in Japan alone, all of whom are potential customers of mobile and Internet gambling operators. While the legal issues related to mobile and tele-betting is yet to be ratified, the infrastructure and awareness is now maturing.