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Forecast: 1.7 billion mobile web users by 2013

If you have a website–especially a company website–and you are hoping to grow business, you might want to pay attention to this data, and take a good, hard look at how your site functions:

The emergence of collaborative Web 2.0 applications including social networking, user-generated content, location-based services and instant messaging will galvanize the mobile web according to a new report issued by market research firm Juniper Research, which forecasts the number of mobile web users will grow from 577 million in 2008 to more than 1.7 billion in 2013. Juniper also credits expanded 2.5/3G penetration as a catalyst for mobile web uptake, but argues that mobile operators and handset makers will have to adapt their commercial strategies to accommodate greater collaboration with other segments of the value chain if its growth projections are to become a reality.

Additional findings from the Juniper report:

  • The Far East & China will represent the largest market for mobile web use, topping 415 million users by 2013, up from a year-end 2008 total of 190 million.
  • The greatest potential for mobile web adoption lies in South America, while growth opportunities in markets like Western and Eastern Europe (which enjoy greater fixed broadband penetration) are more limited.
  • A number of mobile Web 2.0 applications will hinge on flat-data or even free pricing, meaning industry players must seek new revenue streams.