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Mobile Content Market Worldwide Forecast

According to Portio Research, in 2007 operators worldwide generated more than $800 billion in mobile revenues. This is expected to reach $1,094.9 billion by year-end 2012, growing at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of approximately 6.4 percent.

The $1 trillion mark is expected to be reached by year-end 2011. Although a rapidly growing subscriber base has led to growth in revenue for the mobile industry, cell phone operator margins have shrunk over the years.

Operators worldwide, faced with declining average revenue per user (ARPU) due to falling voice tariffs, are now looking at ways to counter smaller margins by building alternative revenue streams through mobile data services.

Voice services still make up the majority of mobile services revenues; in 2007, voice services accounted for approximately 81 percent of operator's total mobile service revenues worldwide. However, with an ever increasing focus on non-voice mobile services, this figure is forecast to decline to a little over 74 percent by year-end 2012.

In 2007, revenue from mobile data services accounted for approximately 20 percent of total service revenue in Western and Northern Europe; 15 percent in Central and Eastern Europe; 24.5 percent in Asia Pacific; 18 percent in North America; 10.5 percent in Latin America; 7 percent in Africa; and 11 percent in the Middle East.

The contribution of non-voice mobile services to total mobile services revenues is expected to increase significantly over the coming years, across all regions.

Rather unsurprisingly, SMS contributes the largest share to total non-voice revenues and in 2007, SMS accounted for approximately 49 percent of worldwide mobile data services revenues.

However, as other data services such as mobile music, mobile games, mobile e-mail, mobile instant messaging (IM) and mobile video gain popularity, the percentage contribution of SMS is expected to decline in the future, even though SMS traffic volumes will continue to grow worldwide.

In 2012, SMS is expected to contribute approximately 37 percent to overall data services revenues. Worldwide mobile data revenue is expected to increase at a CAGR of 16.2 percent, reaching $251.9 billion by end-2012 from $102.4 billion at end-2006.

Although revenue from all data services is expected to increase, the fastest rate of growth is forecast to come from mobile video services (CAGR of 68.2 percent), followed by mobile IM (CAGR of 58.3 percent).

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