In a piece of work with far-reaching consequences, researchers in Japan have analysed that country's fondness for accessing the internet on mobile phones and come to the intriguing conclusion that the mobile platform helps foster consumer loyalty.

A new paper from Philip Sugai and Donghun Kim of the International University of Japan compared how people felt about online services when accessed by phone and by PC.

Loyalty drives profit

Their conclusion that phone users were willing to pay more to keep their favourite services than they would if it were on a PC will shock many content providers in the West.

Sugai explains why: "The mobile platform has regularly been considered an 'inferior' platform to the PC since the launch of mobile data services. But these results clearly show that this is not the case, especially in terms of one of the key drivers of firm profitability; loyalty."

If network operators wish to learn a little from the most advanced mobile market in the world, it's clear they could start with a visit to Sugai's Mobile Consumer Lab in Japan.