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Mobile Internet Revenue Tops $100 Billion in 2010

Rising mobile phone penetration and the proliferation of mobile broadband continues to boost wireless service provider revenue. ABI Research estimates global wireless service revenue at more than $159 billion for 3Q 2010, of which data services account for nearly one third.

Mobile Internet revenue is estimated at about $100 billion for all of 2010 -- that's a 20 percent increase from the previous year and almost three times more than revenue earned five years ago.

"The rapid uptake of mobile broadband has increasingly revolutionized network operator strategies," says ABI research associate Fei Feng Seet.

Consumers are now spending more time on social networking, blogging and online gaming among other activities, and they need to stay connected everywhere.

This has contributed to the success of new brands such as Clearwire, Yota and UQ, and further pushed network operators around the world to build next-generation data networks rapidly, to gain market share.

Mobile network operators in many world regions have announced their interest in, or commitment to, deploying LTE 4G networks.

According to ABI practice director Neil Strother, "A handful of markets including Hong Kong, India, Canada, Austria, France and the UK are starting to face declines in voice usage. The resulting loss of revenue is compounded by a growing subscriber base that uses the Internet for social communication. New applications such as Skype video calling and Whatsapp messaging are expected to capture additional market share."

ABI Research expects the rising mobile data usage and revenue trend to continue through 2011, coupled with more focus on mobile applications -- or the apps, as they're more often described by those who use them on their smartphones.

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