Mobile Data Revenues hit $100 billion

David Murphy

Global revenues from mobile data services surpassed $100 billion (54 billion) for the first time last year, according to data sourced from the latest edition of Informa Telecoms & Media's World Cellular Data Metrics. The figure of $102.1 billion is equal to $52.9 per every mobile subscription throughout the year or $4.4 per month.Strong data revenue growth has continued into 2006, with the Q1 figure of $28.4 billion up 17% year-on-year.
"The industry is  comfortably on track to exceed last year's record total," says Informa Senior Research Analyst, Kester Mann. "Data revenues continue to be driven by the ongoing deployment of advanced technologies, improvements in handsets and global subscription growth."
Putting the 2005 figure into perspective, it is on a par with the combined fees paid so far by European operators for 3G licences ($102.3 billion according to Informa Telecom & Media's World Cellular Information Service). Or, put another way, it is greater than the entire GDP for New Zealand in 2005 ($94.6 billion  according to the CIA World Factbook).
NTT DoCoMo continues to generate the highest non-voice revenues,  based on data for 114 operators tracked. Its total of $2.5 billion for 1Q06 compares to second-placed operator China Mobile ($1.9 billion) with Japanese rival KDDI US$1.5 billion in third.
Three US operators (Verizon Wireless, Cingular Wireless and Sprint Nextel) recorded data revenues above $800 million, while the  leading European operator was O2 UK ($570 million).
For a chart ranking operators by data revenues for Q1 2006, click here.
Published Quarterly in Excel format, Data Metrics tracks mobile data usage and take-up indicators, including  data as a percentage of revenue, mobile data subscriber numbers, mobile data deployments, MMS deployments, MMS vs SMS pricing, SMS and MMS traffic volumes.
For more information about World Cellular Data Metrics, click here.