Just over 950 million mobile phone users worldwide are expected to use their handsets for mobile ticketing by 2018, up from 458 million this year, according to a new report from Juniper Research.

Growth, says the firm, will be driven primarily within key transport verticals, although other sectors, such as live entertainment events and cinema ticketing, are also expected to grow strongly towards the end of the 2013-2018 forecast period.

The report, ‘Mobile Ticketing Strategies: Air, Rail, Metro, Sports & Entertainment 2013-2018’, says the airline industry was a particularly strong proponent of mobile ticketing, with adoption of mobile boarding passes rising sharply since the worldwide implementation of BCBPs (Barcoded Boarding Passes) in 2010.

However, Juniper Research says it is less optimistic about the outlook for NFC ticketing in the short term, primarily due to a lack of implementation standards, which is a barrier to interoperability. Furthermore, says Juniper Research, transaction speed targets have yet to be achieved, providing a further obstacle to widespread deployments and so increasing the probability that contactless cards, rather than NFC handsets, will be the primary delivery mechanism.

“We had already scaled back our forecasts for NFC Ticketing deployments in the wake of Apple’s decision not to include an NFC chipset in the iPhone 5,” said report author Dr Windsor Holden. “Given the outstanding technical issues and the continuing failure of NFC stakeholders to communicate the value proposition to transport operators, further downward revisions were required; we do not envisage anything other than ad hoc deployments in the immediate future.”