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December 22, 2011

Smartphone data plan adoption key to mobile revenue growth: study

Non-SMS services data revenues increased from 55% in Q3 2010 to 61% in Q3 2011

By CBR Staff Writer

Year-over-year smartphone penetration doubled to reach 21% of wireless subscriptions by Q3 2011, according to Strategy Analytics report, "Smartphone Penetration Doubles, Driving Non-SMS Data Growth."

Smartphones have stimulated healthy increases in non-SMS data revenues that continue to lift operator performance despite declining voice and static SMS markets.

Strategy Analytics director Wireless Operator Strategies and author of the report Phil Kendall said over last 12 months, while wireless ARPU fell 8% and voice ARPU declined 13-14%, data ARPU increased by more than 5%. "Non-SMS services — which have become the real driver of growth — increased from 55 percent of data revenues in Q3 2010 to 61 percent in Q3 2011," said Kendall.

Kendall added, "Regionally, non-SMS data revenues grew to 54 percent of total data in Western Europe and 72 percent in North America," Kendall added. "Smartphones for existing wireless customers are a principal source of ARPU uplift which operators cannot afford to ignore. Tapping into the next wave of smartphone adoption through lower cost devices and entry-level data plans will be crucial to medium-term operator revenue growth."

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