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Emerging Markets are Adopting the Mobile Internet

The mobile internet is like a pathway to progress in the emerging markets. But only three regions of the world -- Latin America, Middle East, and Africa -- will experience mobile internet service revenue with double-digit growth between 2013 and 2018.

According to the latest market study by ABI Research, this significant new growth is underpinned by the strong per subscription data consumption increasing at CAGRs of 45-49 percent.

In other words, data traffic doubles in less than every two years on average, thanks to the increased availability of affordable smart devices in the near future.

In 2018, Latin America and Middle East are expected to see an average user contributing more than 2.5 Gigabytes of traffic per month.

Low literacy rate has resulted in the low messaging volume in Africa. However, with the fastest mobile subscription growth and over-the-top applications being less prevalent, it will be the only region to enjoy consistent positive messaging service revenue growth throughout the entire forecast horizon.

"Nonetheless, a key determinant of the future consumption pattern will be the regulatory policies in the regions," says Ying Kang Tan, research associate at ABI Research.

For instance, the recent implementation of mobile number portability measure in Nigeria and the reduction in mobile termination rate in Honduras and Jamaica will go a long way in shaping the competitive landscape and encourage cellular usage.

All these rising trends, however, do not necessarily imply increased profitability. Operators in these regions need to be prepared to respond to new competition policies.

For example, a slash in termination rates means consumers have fewer reasons to subscribe to different operators concurrently. The battle to gain market share will be even more intense.

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