Lower costs drawing users to mobile Internet: industry

SINGAPORE, June 18, 2008 (AFP) – Lower costs are drawing more and more users to access the Internet via their mobiles, and opening up opportunities for advertisers, industry players said. Flat rates for data are becoming increasingly common, and mobile devices for accessing Internet content are more widely available, said Andre Levisse, of management consulting firm McKinsey and Company.

“It becomes cheaper and cheaper to just get one megabyte of data and that enables, probably, some change in the user behaviour,” he said during a panel discussion at the start of the CommunicAsia conference in Singapore.

The event bills itself as the region’s leading information and communications technology conference and exhibition.

Richard Tan, business director of Telkomsel Indonesia, agreed data plan prices have been dropping.

“I think connectivity is now more affordable,” Tan said.

Personal computers are too expensive for users in many markets, said Niren Hiro, vice-president of business development with Admob, a mobile advertising marketplace.

“So I think generally there are going to be a lot of first-time users who go to their phone for content,” he said.

Intern