Report: 40% of subscribers will have mobile broadband in 2016

It is far too early to consign mobile voice and SMS to the land of buggy whips, as both services have considerable life in them despite the dramatic uptake of data over mobile broadband, according to market research firm Infonetics Research.

Mobile broadband represents the fastest-growing revenue stream for mobile operators. Globally, the value of the mobile services market is forecast to expand to $976 billion by 2016, with the majority of growth stemming from mobile broadband services, according to Infonetics, which also forecasts mobile broadband subscribers will grow from 15 percent of the total mobile subscriber base in 2011 to nearly 40 percent in 2016.

Nonetheless, "mobile messaging and voice aren't dead just yet, not by a long shot," said Stephane Teral, Infonetics' principal analyst for mobile infrastructure and carrier economics.

infonetics

Source: Infonetics Research

"The prophecies of doom for mobile operators' SMS/MMS cash cow are being overplayed. Despite the popularity of over-the-top messaging applications like Apple's iMessage and WhatsApp, our data shows SMS growing every year from 2012 to 2016, delivering a cumulative $1 trillion in operator revenue during those five years. And over that same period, voice revenue will decline only slightly, still making up a sizable chunk of operator revenues," he added.

Infonetics predicts mobile operators will enjoy a 6 percent increase in revenue from mobile voice, mobile broadband, and mobile messaging services this year. Asia Pacific and Latin America will turn in the highest growth numbers, while Europe, the Middle East and Africa are expected to see a slight decline" due to cutthroat competition and economic turmoil," the firm said.

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