The UK is home to one of the most vibrant and competitive mobile phone markets in the world. UK users send more text messages per capita than anywhere else and there are more than 70 million mobiles in active use for a population of just 61 million, meaning that many people have more than one mobile at their disposal. The UK is often used as the proving ground for new mobile technologies and upcoming handsets and our passion for mobile phones is well documented. Mobile phones have become an integral part of everyday life, but arguably their most significant impact has been made on the business world. Mobiles like the BlackBerry Bold, the Nokia N and E series and the Apple iPhone have introduced high speed mobile internet to the palms of businesspeople and made emailing and web browsing from mobiles second nature.
The main attraction for business users to smartphones is their portability and growing versatility. Modern smartphones should allow the average business traveller to access a majority of the same services as they would if they were sat in the office from anywhere in the UK or indeed around the globe. A recent survey has found that a vast majority of BlackBerry owners will be checking their emails every day, even during periods of rest and relaxation over Christmas or whilst they are holidaying abroad. The habit of staying in constant contact with a business email account or voicemail service at all times is one that has been created and perpetuated by mobile phones.
There are various analysts making predictions that will affect the mobile market and consequently influence business travellers in 2010. If you keep an eye on the international networking trends you may be aware that emerging mobile markets in India and China have only recently made 3G networking available in their major cities and suburbs. If you have to frequently phone China or receive calls or emails whilst you are there on business then there is a likelihood that this will become much easier, faster and cheaper in 2010. The cost of smartphones for business travellers is also likely to fall over the next 12 months, with a 3 per cent drop predicted. One issue that may influence mobile phone usage by business travellers over the coming year is that of security. With modern mobiles having numerous wireless connectivity options including Wi-Fi, 3G and BlueTooth and with more and more personal and sensitive data being stored on the average handset, criminals are beginning to target mobile phones more frequently. This is obviously of concern to those using their phones to make a living and an increased awareness of the dangers and stronger suspicion of unexpected emails and texts will result.