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Half of the World's Mobile Subs Based in Asia

The worldwide population is expected to rise from approximately 6.55 billion to approximately 7 billion between 2006 and 2012, and at the same time Portio Research forecasts the worldwide mobile subscriber base to also increase from 2.65 billion to 4.81 billion.

Asian markets, which are growing at a staggering pace, are expected to account for 50 percent of the total worldwide subscriber base by 2008. Also, the rise in mobile penetration in Latin America and Africa will contribute significantly towards the overall growth of the mobile market.

Although revenues from voice calls still comprise 80 percent of worldwide total mobile phone service revenues, operators globally are focusing on data services for increasing their average revenue per user (ARPU).

Of the various data services available, while attracting none of the recognition as a leading product in most Mobile Network Operator (MNO) service portfolios, SMS actually still accounts for approximately 75 to 80 percent of non-voice service revenues worldwide.

After a slow start, MMS has also started experiencing significant growth in several regions, especially in North America. Since interoperability agreements were finally put into place in 2005, the North American market has enjoyed rapid growth in MMS traffic, relatively speaking.

While North America and Europe now enjoy growing MMS traffic and revenues, MMS is still quite weak in much of Asia and other regions -- namely Latin America and most of Africa and the Middle East.

Apart from SMS and MMS, mobile e-mail and mobile IM are showing strong future growth prospects in some geographic regions. Apart from North America and Europe, mobile e-mail is expected to grow significantly in the mobile markets of the Asia Pacific region.

The success of mobile e-mail is largely driven by the growth of more advanced handheld devices, such as PDAs and smartphones, so obviously growth of these services will be broadly restricted to the wealthier, more advanced markets for the immediate future.

The latest Portio Research study takes an in-depth look at worldwide mobile messaging markets, with the aim to offer the facts and figures to enable operators, content developers, aggregators and handset vendors to identify the key mobile messaging services of the future -- and the key markets where those value-added services will flourish.

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