US Wireless Industry Depressed Through First Half of 2003

Consulting group Mobile Ecosystem has developed the Mobile Confidence Index to tracks the state of the US wireless industry. The index measures wireless industry metrics in thirteen categories. Currently the index is at 112 and has been relatively flat for the last 12 months. Mobile Ecosystems believes the index will remain flat through the first half of year, a sign that the industry will remain in a depressed state. While wireless innovation and ad spending are up, many factors such as VC investment, subscriber growth, and wireless revenues are down. They also note, as we have many times here, that while sales and upgrades of new handsets are doing well, the data services that new handsets support have yet to catch on. The much anticipated carrier consolidation should address the subscriber slowdown and price competition, it’s just a question of when and how it will play out. The data issue is a much harder issue, but we suspect that data will catch on in the long term as consumers become more dependent on the Internet and devices and networks evolve.

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