On Monday, Funambol and Mahindra Comviva announced they are collaborating on personal cloud solutions for mobile service providers to rebrand and offer to their customers. Globally, the personal cloud service market is expected to grow nearly sevenfold, from $6.6 billion in 2013 to $43.5 billion in 2018.
Funambol (News - Alert) is based in Foster City, CA and specializes in creating personal cloud service (PCS) solutions for mobile service providers. An August 2012 survey of 42,500 users it conducted seems to confirm the growing trend toward personal cloud usage.
Ninety-four percent of those surveyed said they were aware of PCS services. The average person used 3.7 mobile devices.
Eighty-six percent said they currently use more than one PCS service, while 74 percent said they’d use a PCS service from their operator, assuming they were happy with that operator. A little more than one in five respondents (21 percent) currently pay for PCS service.
Mahindra Comviva is based in Gurgaon, India and is a value-added service (VAS) provider focusing on the mobile technology industry. In Sept. 2012, Tech Mahindra bought a majority share of Comviva to form Mahindra Comviva.
Comviva’s WebAxn platform, designed to make it easier for mobile operators to provide Web apps, will have additional features in the solutions offered under the partnership with Funambol.
One of the goals of the partnership is to help mobile operators get their PCS services to market quickly. According to a Gartner (News - Alert) report, this is critical to success in offering such services, since it is difficult to get users to switch cloud services. Funambol’s survey asked users if using an operator cloud might cause a person not to switch operators; 31 percent said yes, while 46 percent said maybe – for a total of 77 percent who feel that it’s at least possible.
Funambol’s survey also indicated that 62 percent of respondents used their OneMediaHub service, making them the second-most used PCS service. The most used service was Dropbox (News - Alert), with 71 percent.
As mentioned earlier, the overwhelming majority of respondents use more than one PCS service, so these percentages when added together will total well more than 100 percent.
A total of 43 different PCS services were named in the survey by respondents.
There’s no denying that the market for PCS services is hot at the moment and Funambol/Mahindra Comviva seek to capitalize on the frenzy. It’ll be interesting to see how the marketplace for the service develops in the future. Will PCS services go from being offered by numerous providers to only a select few, or will the market remain fragmented as it is today?
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