Will Facebook’s IPO Hurt Mobile Phone Operators?

London-based Magister Advisors, an advisory firm that helps technology and Internet firms exit markets at the highest value, pointed out an industry that will be negatively impacted by Facebook's upcoming initial public offering: mobile phone operators.

London-based Magister Advisors, an advisory firm that helps technology and Internet firms exit markets at the highest value, pointed out an industry that will be negatively impacted by Facebook’s upcoming initial public offering: mobile phone operators.

Magister Advisors Managing Director Victor Basta told Bloomberg the trend of mobile operators losing revenue from short messaging services to social networks, along with the bandwidth demands those social networks impose on their networks, represent a dangerous combination for the industry. He added:

Facebook’s IPO is about the worst thing that could happen to network operators. They’re supporting the end-users’ social networking habits, but they see very little, if any, commercial benefit, and the downside risks are significant.

The fundamental challenge for network operators will be finding a way of becoming part of the Facebook ecosystem, rather than simply external enablers.

Basta’s predictions seem a bit drastic. With more and more mobile users accessing the social network, and its applications, via their devices, Facebook continues to take steps to support the mobile sector, including its addition of mobile referrals to its insights dashboard, and its announcements at February’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain.

At MWC, Facebook announced that it was working with AT&T, Deutsche Telekom, Orange, Telefónica, T-Mobile USA, Verizon, Vodafone, KDDI, and Softbank Mobile on ways to streamline mobile transactions, and it joined the W3C Mobile Web Platform Core Community Group, in which more than 30 hardware manufacturers, carriers, and developers aim to improve and standardize mobile browsers.

Readers: Do you think Facebook’s impending IPO will have a negative effect on mobile phone providers?

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