Message received

The demand for real-time connectivity among the enterprise sector is prompting advances in the push email segment in the Middle East and Africa. Ronan Shields speaks to some the region's major players to profile the development of the market.

  • E-Mail
By  Ronan Shields Published  April 1, 2007

The rapid development of the Middle East's business sector in the past decade has proven a boon for the mobile telecoms industry as companies increasingly embrace the concept of ‘always on' connectivity solutions.

This has typically been achieved using mobile voice telephony but technological advances have changed the nature of commercial demand with end-users increasingly demanding on-the-go email solutions as a basic.

In the previous five years the market has developed with ‘user-initiated' email services becoming available on GPRS handsets enabling users to connect to their office server, or webmail from remote locations.

However, the limited connectivity, and ‘user-initiated' nature of this solution has led the market's enterprise segment to turn towards ‘push email' solutions to increase their employees' productivity.

The region's consulting, financial and service sectors have thus far fuelled the push email solution market. Analysts suggest the regional enterprise market has been driven by the growing demand for real-time information services by these segments of the market, along with their willingness to pay the heady premiums associated with the service generally.

Ghassan Hasbani, principal communications and technology practice analyst at Booz Allen Hamilton, believes that the Middle East market is in the process of copying the progression of ‘mature' markets, such as the US and western Europe, with the enterprise sector effectively driving demand.

"The region will follow the typical push email market evolution with the development of the enterprise sector followed by the retail segment," states Hasbani. "This evolution pattern is due to the fact that enterprise customers are willing to pay a premium for real-time connectivity whereas the retail sector of the market is more cost sensitive. This pattern is clearly supported by the evolution of ‘developed' markets in the US, Europe and Japan," he adds.

Industry players surveyed by CommsMEA also report that the regional push email market is enjoying a period of expansion and is currently bracing itself for exponential rates of growth in coming years.

Emitac Mobile Services (EMS), regional channel partner for mobile email industry leader BlackBerry, reports growing demand in the region having partnered with four network operators so far, including Etisalat, its subsidiary Mobily in Saudi Arabia, as well as Batelco and Fastlink in Bahrain and Jordan respectively.

"The acceptance of this technology in MEA has shown promise and we are anticipating the regional market for push email-enabled products will continue to grow in the coming years," says EMS chief executive, Babar Khan.

"Our strategy is to work with the carriers to enhance the awareness of the Blackberry solutions and products in the region and to provide affordable access to the solution in each of the markets."

EMS also reports that the ability of service providers to communicate the benefits of push email to the region's small and medium business (SMB) sector is crucial to the development of the market.

Add a Comment

Your display name This field is mandatory

Your e-mail address This field is mandatory (Your e-mail address won't be published)

Security code