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New Demand Drives Mobile Data Revenue

Revenues from mobile data services are set to exceed $200 billion this year for the first time, according to Informa Telecoms & Media. Total mobile data revenues were approximately $157 billion in 2007.

Research from the first quarter of 2008 reveals that mobile data service revenues exceeded $49 billion, accounting for a 42.7 percent year over year increase.

This figure means that mobile operators now generate approximately one fifth of their revenue from data services; this is significant given that a general slowdown in voice revenues is forcing the pace around the importance of data services for mobile operators.

Informa Telecoms & Media estimates that non-SMS data contributed $17.48 billion of revenue in Q108, accounting for 35.6 percent of total data revenues.

The Asia Pacific region comprises 40 percent of the world's data revenues (over $20 billion in Q108), representing an above average year over year growth rate of 48 percent.

The biggest regional riser, however, is the Middle East, which despite contributing just 2 percent of the world's data revenues in the first quarter of 2008, has seen a 91.7 percent year over year increase in this figure to $927 million.

Aiding this acceleration is the 321 percent year over year rise in the number of HSPA subscribers in the region, which reached 2.9 million by the end of March 2008.

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