Carriers hope 3G grows revenues in 2006

Will 2006 be the year that high-speed data networks make a significant impact on revenues? Operators are hoping so in light of the fact that analysts are forecasting a slowdown in subscriber growth this year in an increasingly saturated U.S. market. But 2006 will be a tough one as carriers need to improve coverage and continue to come out with compelling devices, say analysts. Verizon, the first out of the gate with 3G, said its VCast service has helped grow average revenue per user on the data side even though it's not a major contributor to the carrier's revenue. ARPU for data increased to $4.85 in the fourth quarter from $2.79 a year ago. However, much of the growth came from text messaging. Confusing, but they must be trying to say that VCast is raising awareness of other services.

For more about 3G's potential in the U.S.:
- read this article from Dow Jones