Feb 26 2013

Mobile operators data revenues to overtake voice by 2018

Tuesday, Feb 26, 2013

Dubai: The mobile operators’ data revenues will overtake voice revenues globally by 2018, fuelled by the surge in demand for connected devices and machine-to-machine (M2M) communications, Global System for Mobile Communications Association (GSMA) said yesterday at the Mobile World Congress which is taking place in Barcelona from Feb 25-28.

A new report, developed in collaboration with PwC, reveals how innovative mobile connected products and services will revolutionise people’s lives over the next five years.

“Mobile data is not just a commodity, but is becoming the lifeblood of our daily lives, society and economy, with more and more connected people and things,” said Michael O’Hara, Chief Marketing Officer, GSMA, said in a statement.

“This is an immense responsibility and the mobile industry needs to continue collaborating with governments and key industry sectors to deliver products and services that help people around the world improve their businesses and societies,” he said.

He said mHealth could save $400 billion in healthcare costs in OECD countries in 2017 while connected cars could save one in nine lives through emergency calling services.

The report said that mEducation can reduce student drop-outs by eight per cent or 1.8 million children and smart metering can cut carbon emissions by 27 million tonnes — the equivalent of planting 1.2 billion trees.

The increase in mobile operator data revenues is a global trend across both developed and emerging markets.

In 2012, Japan became the first country where data revenues exceeded voice revenues, due largely to the availability of advanced mobile broadband networks and a higher adoption of the latest smartphones, tablets and connected devices.

“Argentina’s data revenues will exceed voice revenues this year, attaining this milestone ahead of the US and UK, which will reach this point in 2014. Kenya will experience this shift in 2016, with other emerging economies expected to follow as mobile broadband continues to thrive,” O’Hara said.

Data growth has spurred significant advances in connected devices and M2M technologies globally. Four sectors in particular — health, automotive, education and smart cities — are building on the evolution of mobile broadband access and services.

In the developing world, of the 610 million students enrolled in primary education, only 10 per cent are expected to enter secondary education. The impact of mEducation will result in a 180 million students having the opportunity to stay in education over the next five years in developing countries.

By Naushad K.?Cherrayil Staff Reporter

Gulf News 2013. All rights reserved.

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