Rivals and industry experts have questioned LogicaCMG’s claim this week that it holds a 24% market share in the highly competitive multimedia messaging service systems marketplace, and said that in dollar terms, its share could be as low as 3%.
London, UK-based LogicaCMG announced this week that it had recently won 19 new MMS contracts, taking its total installed base to nearly 50 operators around the world. But with the exception of KPN Mobile in the Netherlands, the new MMS clients were notable for being second- or third-tier operators such as Maxis in Malaysia, Singtel in Singapore, and ACS in the US.
Peter Broekroelofs, VP marketing for LogicaCMG’s Wireless Networks division told ComputerWire that the company’s 24% market share put it neck and neck with main rivals Ericsson and Nokia. The company released a pie chart in December 2003 that gave Ericsson a 26% market share, with Nokia in third place with 23% and Huawei and Comverse in joint fourth position with 6% each. LogicaCMG claimed to hold a 23% share at that time.
The MMSC (multimedia messaging service center) systems offered by LogicaCMG and its rivals allow mobile phone users to send graphics, video, applications and audio files. Network operators will require increasingly robust systems to provide the underpinning billing, customer care and mediation technology, with research group Ovum expecting annual worldwide MMS traffic to grow from 3.5 billion messages in 2003 to more than 30 billion in 2008.
This will lead to millions of dollars in upgrades for successful MMS technology providers, as well as in ongoing maintenance and support costs. LogicaCMG, for example, made 36m pounds ($65m) in the first half of 2003 from supporting its earlier generation text messaging (SMS) systems installed base.
But is the number of installed multimedia messaging systems the best indicator of who is winning in this market? One investment analyst that we spoke to said that if a comparison is based on the share of dollars that have actually been spent by operators on rolling out MMS systems, LogicaCMG’s market share was more likely to be around 3% to 5%.
Unfortunately, the amount that telcos spend on their technology infrastructure is a closely guarded secret so accurate numbers are hard to come by. However, it would be a fairer way of determining the real competitive positioning in the MMS marketplace than LogicaCMG’s, which equates its recent wins with Cable & Wireless’s small operations in Cayman and St Lucia, with Ericsson’s nine-networks MMS system award with Vodafone, the value of which was initially estimated at about $380m.
Openwave Systems, another LogicaCMG rival in the MMS space, claims it ranks as the third largest player based on the number of MMS subscribers using its systems – 107 million. Francisco Kattan, product marketing director at Openwave said this places it behind Ericsson and Nokia, but ahead of LogicaCMG, which itself states that its MMS systems currently serve 85 million subscribers. Kattan said: Different vendors measure their market share in different ways, but you have to remember that there are very big MMS customers and very small ones.
This article is based on material originally published by ComputerWire