Japan, South Korea still lead 3G development- survey

Mobile operators in Japan and South Korea continue to lead the 3G race, with penetration of 3G services now at 40% for the two countries.

Research firm Analysys said Japanese and South Korean operators had "consistently led the world in the development of innovative mobile services and technology."

"Despite the intention of Western mobile operators to develop a broader range of non-voice services, data ARPUs are still dominated by basic SMS person-to-person messaging," Alastair Brydon, co-author of the report, said.

"In contrast, Japanese and South Korean operators generate a significant proportion of their total revenue from data services other than text messaging," Brydon added.

But while Japan and South Korea had had some successes with non-voice services, the Analysys report warned other operators against blindly following their lead.

"In the race to offer new services and capabilities, operators in Japan and South Korea have sometimes failed to anticipate the full commercial implications of their actions," Brydon said