Mobile Trends 2007: Mobile eMail and Data Back-up and Restore Set to Reach the Masses

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Synchronica CEO Carsten Brinkschulte offers his opinions on what will be hot in 2007.

Synchronica CEO Carsten Brinkschulte offers his opinions on what will be hot in 2007.

2007 will be the year when both mobile email and back-up and restore for mobile devices come of age for the mass market. We will see mobile email taking off in the consumer space, due to the advent of industry standards, lower cost devices and falling service plan costs. And we will also see consumers paying service providers an additional monthly fee to insure their mobile phone's address book against loss or theft.

Mobile eMail for the Masses

Until now, mobile email has been mainly limited to the approximately six million BlackBerry subscribers worldwide who can afford to buy an expensive device and are willing to accept a costly data plan. But there have been strong signs over the course of the last year that the age of mobile email for the masses is almost upon us. The combination of industry standard adoption, lower cost devices and affordable service plans is set to make mobile email for the mass market a reality in 2007.

One or both of the two complementary mobile data synchronization industry standards -- Push IMAP and SyncML -- have been adopted by all the major device manufacturers and middleware vendors in 2006, which sets the scene for standards-based push email between heterogeneous mobile devices. There have also been some innovative, low cost devices launched in the last six months, such as IXI Mobile's OGO, which has been designed from the ground up for mobile messaging.

With such a wealth of mass market devices that support mobile email now available, the time is right for mobile email pricing plans to fall, to attract more customers. And as customer numbers increase, we will see mobile email start to replace text messages, becoming the next generation SMS. Interestingly, SMS messages are relatively expensive when compared on a 'per character' basis to alternative forms of messaging such as mobile email, so data tariffs per character for mobile email should not prove prohibitive to even the most cost-conscious of mobile phones users.

Back-up and Restore for the Masses

We also expect to see a surge in demand from consumers for a back-up and restore facility for their mobile devices in 2007. Already back in 2004 the research group Zelos found that 15 % of mobile subscribers expressed a strong need for a mechanism to back up contact data. This is because consumers -- and particularly the MySpace generation -- depend increasingly on their mobile devices as the primary repository for vital information such as phones numbers and addresses.

In this scenario, if a person's phone is lost or stolen, all his or her friends' and family's contact details disappear with it. "For this fast-growing section of society, it is the information on the phone, rather than the phone itself, which is of value to them."

We will therefore see an increase in demand for a low-cost facility from service providers -- a kind of insurance policy for your contact information -- which will allow consumers to back-up and restore their contacts information over the air. As well as providing a safety net for consumers who lose their phones, a back-up and restore service also makes upgrading to a new phone easier. Customers simply use the back-up and restore facility to transfer their contact information and saved SMS messages over the air to their new phone.

Conclusion

In summary, 2007 will see the mass market benefiting from recent advances in data synchronization and messaging. Mobile email will start to replace some of the billions of SMS messages that get sent every month by consumers and more service providers will begin to offer their subscribers a robust over-the-air back-up and restore facility for their contacts information.

More about Carsten Brinkschulte, CEO Synchronica plc: http://syncml.notlong.com

About Synchronica

Synchronica develops and markets synchronization and device management solutions for service providers, operators, device manufacturers, and enterprises. Its product portfolio ranges from data synchronization (OMA DS) to device management (OMA DM) and firmware update over the air (FUMO / FOTA). Synchronica has a strong track record in the mobile industry including several live carrier-grade installations. Products include the SyncML DM Server which enables operators and device manufacturers to build automated customer-care systems and the award-winning SyncML Gateway which enables seamless synchronization of corporate data including Push eMail using OMA DS and Push IMAP. Its latest offering, Mobile Manager, enables mobile operators and application service providers (ASPs) to offer mobile device management as a hosted solution to enterprise customers. Headquartered in the UK with offices in Germany (Berlin), USA (Reston and Seattle) and Asia (Hong Kong). Synchronica plc is a public company listed on the London Stock Exchange (AIM:SYNC). More information is available at http://www.synchronica.com

For more information, please contact:

Nicole Meissner, CMO

Synchronica plc

Tel.: +44 1892 552 780

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NICOLE MEISSNER
Synchronica
+44 1892 552 780
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