Demand for 4G data services is expected to unlock up to $633bn in mobile data revenues globally by 2018.
A market study of the UK, the US, China, Japan, India and France found that sales in mobile data would account for 52% of the overall mobile revenue market by 2018 from 40% in 2013.
The research put the surge down to increased subscriptions for 4G data services, which are expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 52%, from 211 million in 2013 to 1.6bn in 2018.
The research, by analyst firm Pyramid Research, said partnerships with mobile device manufacturers as well as OTT players are also driving the adoption of mobile data in the market.
The study also revealed that the uptake in data is affecting the business models of mobile operators.
"With mobile voice revenue on the decline, operators are increasingly selling mobile data; unlimited voice and text messaging services are thrown into data bundles that are priced by their different bandwidth allowances, as well as into quadruple-play bundles," the research said.
"Innovative pricing schemes that are resulting in increased data traffic and revenue include shared data plans, specialised tariff plans (for premium content, specific applications and social media) and tariffs that cover the cost of mobile devices."
The research also found that Asia Pacific, which accounted for 37.8% of the world’s mobile data revenue in 2013, would lead the market.