Mobile broadband subscribers will grow from 15 per cent of all mobile users worldwide in 2011 to nearly 40 per cent by 2016, according to US Infonetics Research.
Mobile broadband services are predicted to push mobile service revenues to $976bn by 2016, with SMS and voice revenues continuing to cling on, despite erosion by over-the-top services.
On a global basis, operators expect to see a six per cent increase in revenue from mobile voice, mobile broadband, and mobile messaging services in 2012, with the highest growth to come from Asia Pacific and Latin America, while the EMEA region is expected to see a slight decline due to fierce competition and economic turmoil.
“The mobile world is undeniably shifting from voice to data, as mobile operators migrate as many subscribers as they can to data service plans and smartphones,” said Stéphane Téral, Infonetics Research’s principal analyst for mobile infrastructure and carrier economics.
“Already in North America and Asia Pacific, mobile operators derive over 40 per cent of their mobile revenue from mobile broadband and messaging. But, while mobile broadband is no doubt the fastest growing revenue stream for operators, mobile messaging and voice aren’t dead just yet, not by a long shot.”