Report: Mobile data growing ten times faster than voice
Calculations by Ericsson just one of several new reports detailing explosive mobile data growth
(This story is part of Connected Planetís Mobile Data Paradox microsite Ė an ongoing collection of features, blogs and opinions on the key question facing mobile operators today: how do you make a business of 4G and mobile data?
Talk about coincidence. The week we decide to launch the Mobile Data Paradox interactive feature a rash on new studies emerge that back the projectís central premise: mobile data usage is growing not just exponentially but also much faster than the revenues operators are collecting for mobile data.
By Ericssonís (NASDAQ:ERIC) calculations, mobile data traffic globally is growing at a pace ten time faster than voice. And that factors in countries that are still building out their 2G infrastructures. The pace of growth in North America, East Asia and Europe is most certainly growing faster, taking into account their much more advanced networks and already saturated voice markets.
According to Ericsson data traffic surpassed voice traffic in total volume last December, yet data plans are only 10% of all total mobile subscriptions. What happens when data plans account for 20% or even 50% of that number?
Here in the US, analyst Chetan Sharma found that the average mobile data plan accounted for 230 MB of traffic, up 50% in just six months. But the most sobering report was one from ABI Research, which projected that North American data usage would increase 52% annually, while data revenues would increase only 18%. Thatís a big gap for operators to make up.
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