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Mobile Phone Use in the Home is Growing

According to a new market study by Informa Telecoms & Media, mobile phone traffic generated in the home environment was estimated at 40 percent in 2007. By 2013 it is expected to reach an overwhelming 58 percent.

Informa expects Femtocells deployment to help operators offload up to 8 percent of total mobile traffic to fixed networks via end-user broadband lines.

Their report finds that mobile voice minutes of use (MoU) in the home environment will approach 42 percent of total mobile voice traffic by the end of 2008. As the price gap between fixed and mobile calls narrows mobile voice usage at home will gradually increase to reach 49 percent by 2013.

The office environment will come in second position with a 30 percent market share, while only 9 percent of calls will be initiated on the move -- when walking, driving, or on the train or bus -- and the remaining 21 percent of calls will be generated from other public environments.

Mobile data usage is also expected to increase over the coming years, thanks to the aggressive flat-rate data-plans pushed by mobile operators, the rollout of mobile broadband networks and most importantly the advances in mobile terminal software.

In particular, advanced user interfaces are leading to the proliferation of new type of smartphones and mobile internet devices, including Apple's iPhone and Google's G1.

Apparently, 2007 was a watershed year for operators in terms of their strategy regarding the development of new non-voice services for their customers.

"While mobile operators continue to develop their own services and strategies around applications such as music, games, TV and video, there was a realization during 2007 that a far greater opportunity exists in providing unrestricted broadband access to the Internet" said Malik Saadi, Principal Analyst at Informa.

In the same way that voice traffic has moved from old fixed line telephony service PSTN to mobile, there is reason to believe that a significant percentage of Internet traffic generation will move away from fixed personal computers to mobile devices including mobile handsets, mobile Internet devices (MIDs) and connected notebooks.

These strategies are starting to pay off with the leading mobile operators seeing data revenues surpassing 40 percent growth in 1H 2008 compared to the same period last year.

At the same time mobile data traffic is surging with operators now recording growth ranging from 120 to 250 percent over their networks. However, Informa has estimated that annual revenues generated by 1 PetaByte of data traffic will decrease by a factor of 4.9 by 2012 to reach $125 million -- down from $612 million in 2008.

In 2008, the home environment will already be responsible for more than 43 percent of total mobile data traffic but this traffic is expected to predominate with an overwhelming 60 percent by 2013.

The growth will be driven by users increasingly initiating sessions in the relaxed environment of their home, through browsing the internet, watching longer and richer video clips, downloading music and video content, exchanging pictures, or using VoIP and on-line chatting.

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