MMS and SMS applications for business use are tipped to proliferate across Australia in the coming year, new market research by IDC has suggested.
Warren Chaisatien, senior mobile & wireless analyst at IDC, said that his research had suggested that just 8.5 percent of businesses in Australia were using MMS as a multimedia tool for internal business use, and 2 percent were using it as an email communication tool.
In the survey of about 260 Australian businesses, just 0.4 percent were using MMS for external business communications, he said.
However, a further 5 to 6 percent of businesses surveyed claimed they would adopt MMS as a business tool in the next 12 months, he said.
'I think we still have quite a long way to go when it comes to taking full advantage of wireless technology, but we are seeing increasing signs of Australian adoption of non-voice services [for mobile devices],' Chaisatien said.
SMS –- and increasingly MMS -– were the dominant non-voice offerings to Australian business and that was expected to continue. Most business-focused mobile device use was still about remotely accessing data on corporate networks, he said.
ISVs and startups had already started to develop myriad SMS and MMS applications. As such, they were somewhat 'ahead of the curve' but should be well-placed to take advantage of expected opportunities, which IDC's research had shown should ramp up in the next 12 months, he said.
'Small ISVs [et cetera], they are thinking about it in the right way,' Chaisatien said.
Businesses of all kinds could potentially make good use of SMS and MMS applications, particularly as 3G ramped up. Either Vodafone or Optus was expected to launch Australia's second 3G network next year, he said.
However, 2.5G was adequate for many such SMS or MMS applications, Chaisatien noted.
'If carriers and content providers simply rely on GPRS and mobile data connectivity, it might take a while because that is more complex and more expensive from a wireless connectivity point of view,' he said.
Mobile devices such as smartphones and PDAs were relatively expensive, which could slow things down, he added. 'But if you get the market started beginning with SMS and especially MMS, I think that's a shortcut to growth,' Chaisatien said.
Businesses would be the main driver of wireless voice and data services, he said.
'In terms of infrastructure, we are ready,' he added.