Friday, November 11, 2005

Mobile phone users embrace data services

The Seattle Times writes about the revenue growth U.S. carriers are experiencing from data services.

Lewis Ward at IDC pointed out that the trend is accelerating. In 2003, "the average U.S. wireless subscriber dished out $50 a month on wireless service, with 97 percent spent on voice and the remainder on data." Ward predicted that "by the end of 2006, "consumers will spend $51 a month, with 90 percent for voice and 10 percent for data."

"While data grows from 3 percent to 10 percent, it's filling the gap and then some," Ward said. That gap is the dropping revenue from voice due to competitive price pressures.

Mark Donovan at M:Metrics said, "There is a clear sense that data services and nonvoice services are where the revenue growth is as you see the carriers continue to compete with brutal pricing for voice plans."

Donovan added, "It represents hooking subscribers up to a recurring charge to watch TV, and it represents their repositioning of their companies to be something more than a voice provider, but into a provider of an enterprise tool or an entertainment platform."