1 billion people with internet-enabled mobiles: are you ready NT?

This is blog I wrote recently for my employer @Captovate. I wrote it with a Top End audience (Australia’s Northern Territory) in mind, but really it’s applicable anywhere. Where will our mobile future lead? Loving the mystery right now.

I love my Samsung Galaxy S3. It’s sleek, fast, useful and fun.

Like many smartphones, it connects me to anyone in my local area, country and the world thorough the net; I can take beautiful photos and HD video; I can contribute content and work while out on the road. Apple iPhone fans notwithstanding, I think it’s probably the most awesome piece of consumer technology.

The humble mobile phone has recently become the most ubiquitous man-made device in history – according to a study by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), there are an estimated 5.89 billion subscriptions to mobile phone providers.

To put this into perspective, the UN just announced the world population passed 7 billion. That would mean, if the stats are accurate, 84% of the planet is mobile connected in some way.

Did you think that would happen? I still remember seeing my uncle in the early 1990s lugging a big box around that had a telephone receiver attached to it, thinking “why would anyone want that?”. It wasn’t convenient communications but, in some ways, it made his work easier. Nowdays we’ve come to expect a lot from our mobile phone – it doesn’t solely make us available for contact, it has to do everything else in the communications department… and then some.

Today, the most powerful tool in its arsenal is access the internet. A smartphone’s ability to be used for online information gathering, creation and dissemination, as well as communication, places it as one of the most important developments in our history. And while only roughly 16% of the world’s mobile users are connected to the net, that still accounts for around 1 billion people (again, stats courtesy of the ITU). But you’ve got to be quick – the greater the access, the smaller the window of time you have to catch a person’s attention (and there’s nothing new in that idea).

So why should you care about any of this? Becuase this is happening all around you – smartphone up-take in the NT is increasing… and fast!

If you have a presence on the net, whether through a website, blog or even a Facebook page, you are now globally connected – a fact that some people take for granted – and now that the mobile handset has become as ubiquitous as it is, anyone on this planet can engage your services or buy your products on their phone.

When you’re getting started with an online presence for your business, think about how your presence will be viewed through a mobile. Think about the experience you have when you use your phone – it’s a guarantee that your customers are or will be doing the same soon enough. If you think an app will help your business, think about the content that you need for that app – will it sell your products or services?

Whatever you decide, make sure it works to the advantage of your business, especially when there’s so much on offer to catch your customer’s attention.


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