The Influence of 1.2 Billion Mobile Subscribers

Connecting cultures through pretty girls with cellphones

Brazil, Russia, India and China—collectively known as BRIC—representing 43% of the world’s population, will profoundly change the way both the mobile telecommunications and the marketing industries operate. BRIC will account for nearly 1.2 billion mobile phone subscribers this year.

The Influence of 1.2 Billion Mobile Subscribers

Beyond the scale involved, BRIC’s growth is a game changer because mobile will be the primary interactive screen for a new generation of consumers.

“Mobile is not simply viewed as an extension of the Web in BRIC, as it is in the US, Western Europe and parts of Asia-Pacific,” says John du Pre Gauntt, senior analyst at eMarketer and author of the new report, Mobile BRIC: Extreme Growth Ahead. “Mobile is the Internet for an increasingly large and attractive consumer segment—an important distinction for marketers to keep in mind.”

eMarketer projects that the BRIC countries will account for over 1.7 billion mobile phone subscribers by 2012. Of that amount, over 680 million subscribers will access the mobile Internet.

“As these huge populations within BRIC accumulate disposable income, they are poised to form interactive relationships with local and global brands primarily through the mobile phone,” says Mr. Gauntt.

With PC and broadband penetration far below that of mobile, marketers and mobile operators find themselves in uncharted territory—needing to serve new populations untethered by the legacy of the fixed-line Internet.

“The scale facing marketers cannot be understated,” says Mr. Gauntt.

Five of the world’s 10 largest cities are located in BRIC, along with four of the five top markets for new mobile subscribers.

“These markets already account for the majority of new growth for the mobile telecommunications industry,” says Mr. Gauntt, “which is only one of the value-added service and marketing sectors affected by the growth of BRIC.”

Via eMarketer