Mobile data service revenue to eclipse voice revenue by 2016
Global mobile data service revenue, made up of mobile internet and messaging revenue, will rise by 21.4% between 2012 and 2014 to represent 40.4% of the US$1 trillion mobile customers will be spending on their mobile phone services, according to ABI Research. Thanks to strong commitments to LTE network deployment in Latin America and Africa, growth rates will be substantially faster as the increase in usage outstrips mobile data pricing decline. This represents a significant opportunity for mobile content and application developers, which will stimulate a very active mobile apps and content market-place.
North America will be the first region to see mobile data service revenue eclipse voice revenue in 2016. By offering unlimited voice calls and texts, wireless operators such AT&T and Verizon help to ensure that voice and messaging make positive revenue contributions in the short to medium-term. Voice and messaging APIs are a key part of their strategy of making carrier-based calls and messaging relevant to their customers. However the impact of smartphones as an entertainment hub for music, videos and content is growing internet service revenues to 26% share of total revenues (2012:US$ 244.2 billion) thanks to tiered data pricing plans.
This is only going to increase with data usage that has been growing by double-digits every year. It will be interesting to see how carriers respond to this changing business model.