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Mobile Data Service Consumer Spend Growth

The population of mobile phone data-related service users will grow from 1.8 billion in 2007 to close to 2.5 billion in 2011, according to a new Strategy Analytics report entitled "Global Cellular Data Forecast 2007—2011."

Strategy Analytics also predicts that consumer spending on mobile data services (including cellular data transport, messaging and content) will ramp from $125 billion in 2007 to just over $200 billion by 2011.

Phil Taylor, Director, Global Wireless Practice, notes, "Person to person SMS growth is slowing in many mature cellular markets, but the use of new messaging tools, particularly email and Instant Messaging, is set for significant growth in 2007 and beyond, as larger screen devices which operate on faster networks at lower data price points open up services beyond the early adopter market."

This report highlights growth in emerging data services, including music downloading and streaming, mobile video on demand and mobile TV.

David Kerr, VP Global Wireless Practice, adds, "We expect consumer spend on mobile media alone to double between 2007 and 2011, rising from $32 billion to just over $64 billion. The growing functionality and usability of handsets and networks is also feeding into major growth in the use of Web browsing from mobile phones, and the outlook for Web 2.0 services is positive."

However, I must add that there are still significant differences in growth potential across developed markets. While the Asia-Pacific and European markets have momentum developed with mainstream consumer applications, only the most determined early adopter gadget geeks are using the high-priced wireless data services within the U.S. market.

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