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Global Data Revenues to Reach $500 Billion by 2015

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Almost half of U.S. mobile phone users pay for mobile Internet access, and the popularity of mobile data services will continue to grow revenues for carriers, according to international research firm Parks Associates. Percentages of paying consumers are even higher for smartphone owners 95% pay for SMS, 92% pay for Internet access, 83% pay for mobile email, 63% pay for mobile navigation, and 43% pay for mobile video.

Parks Associates analysts forecast mobile data services, including messaging, Internet, apps, entertainment services, and machine-to-machine (M2M), will generate $500 billion in global revenues for mobile carriers in 2015, up from $204 billion in 2010.

"Popular mobile content services include Verizon NFL Mobile, Sprint Navigator, China Mobile's mobile newspaper service, and Vodafone's MusicStation service," said Harry Wang, director, mobile research, Parks Associates. "Carriers will derive most data revenues from access services, and content services, including mobile music, videos, games, ringtones, apps, and navigation, will supplement mobile access data services."

Global mobile carriers must adapt to maximize revenues in this hypercompetitive market. Wang advises carriers to build a more flexible service infrastructure to prepare for the avalanche of new mobile data services and associated business models.

"Content owners, developers, and distributors can circumvent a carrier's ecosystem to offer content or services through app stores or on the mobile Internet," Wang said. "The old walled garden is porous due to disruptive forces such as Apple's integrated business model. To stay relevant and dominant, carriers must focus on making their networks the most attractive option for content delivery and distribution."

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Tags: mobile internet  mobile broadband