Revenue from the wireless industry worldwide is expected to surpass $1.3 trillion in 2011, equivalent to 2 percent of global gross domestic product, and mobile data revenue is expected to make up around one quarter of that, according to a new report from Chetan Sharma Consulting.
According to the report, which is a review of the first half of 2011 and a forecast for the rest of the year and beyond, the growth will be driven by several factors. First, there will simply be more mobile subscribers. The report predicts that that the total number of mobile subscriptions will exceed 6 billion by the end of 2011, and notes that while it took more than 20 years to reach the 1 billion mark, it took just 15 months to add the last billion. The report also said that the number of mobile operators with more than $1 billion in data revenues will increase to 47 in 2011, up from 13 in 2005.
The report predicts major changes in the nature of the devices using mobile data over the next few years. Data is now on pace to make up 95 percent of global mobile traffic by 2015. According to Sharma's report, by 2015, connected devices will make up nearly 30 percent of all U.S. subscriptions, from less than 10 percent in 2010. Interestingly, the report forecasts that by the end of 2012, U.S. mobile data subscription penetration will outpace home broadband subscription penetration.
To handle all of this, the report recommends, as many other have, that operators avoid a one-size-fits-all approach to network management. "A holistic approach to managing data traffic is needed and our analysis shows that the cost structure can be reduced by more than half if a suite of solutions are deployed vs. a single dimensional approach and thus bringing the hockey stick curves of data cost more in line with the revenues and thus preserving the margins," the report said.
The report also said that the decision making process inside carriers will need to be streamlined, and that carriers should consider creating a senior post which focuses on both costs and solutions to both come up with long-term network management solutions and maintain healthy margins.
- see this release
Forecast: Data to drive 95% of worldwide mobile traffic by 2015
Cisco: Mobile video will be 66% of data traffic by 2015
Cisco forecasts mobile data traffic to grow 39-fold through 2014
Mobile data traffic and HSPA+ deployments are surging
Allot: Video streaming dominated mobile data traffic in first half 2010