Ovum: Emerging rural markets will drive next billion mobile connections

The right device and service combination will help mobile operators to attract the next billion connections, which will mainly come from remote rural areas, according to a new study from Ovum. The market research firm reports that while rural users will typically not have access to basic infrastructure or utilities, they are aware to the impact mobile phones can have on their lifestyles and are eager to invest in a convenient device. However, Ovum points to handset charging solutions as being as crucial to the next billion as the device itself. While mobile phone battery life has improved considerably in the last few years, access to electricity in remote and rural areas has not. "Emerging markets will account for the bulk of the next billion connections, and despite increasing awareness of smartphones, these users will primarily purchase entry-level and feature phones," says Ovum analyst and report author, Shiv Putcha. Article