US only second to Sweden in mobile data consumption

By on November 8, 2010, 10:01 AM
We all know that US mobile data usage is skyrocketing, but the latest numbers from Chetan Sharma, an analyst who tracks the wireless-data industry, are staggering. The data market grew 25 percent year over year, and brought in $14 billion in service revenue in the last quarter (Q3 2010) alone. The mobile data revenues for the US market are likely to reach $55 billion in 2010. Between Q2 and Q3, connected devices grew 12 percent. Within five years, their revenue is expected to exceed the entire prepaid market.

Here are some other interesting figures from the report:

  • Verizon and AT&T accounted for 85 percent of the increase in data revenues in Q3 2010.
  • T-Mobile's 3G drive is starting to pay off: while the postpaid net-adds were still in the red, its data growth is starting to match its peers.
  • AT&T and Verizon now account for 70 percent of the market data services revenues and 62 percent of the subscription base.
  • Overall, Verizon and AT&T are tied in terms of total connected devices on the network though AT&T has a much more diverse revenue base.
  • Sprint extended its streak of positive net-adds to two quarters by adding over 600 subscriptions while T-Mobile reversed its customer losing streak thanks to the growth in the prepaid and connected devices segments.
  • The national prepaid penetration is hitting 20 percent.
  • Non-messaging services continues to grab 60 to 65 percent of the data revenues for the US carriers.
  • The usage and data consumption trends are enabling carriers to accelerate their 3.5G/4G plans and develop long-term business and technical strategies.

As you can see above, data traffic is now significantly more than voice traffic. By the end of 2010, Chetan Sharma expects the average US consumer will have consumed approximately 325MB/month (up 112 percent in the last year). This puts US second only to Sweden in per capita mobile data consumption. While the US lags Japan and Korea in 3G penetration by a distance, due to higher penetration of smartphones and datacards, it has a much higher consumption than its Asian counterparts. The fact that the US becoming the largest deployment base for HSPA+ and LTE also helps as the latest research for data management and experimentation with policy, regulations, strategy, and business models is taking place on the networks of US operators.





User Comments: 14

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Demons said:

This doesn't surprise me. Smartphones are all over the place now. It seems like more people have a smartphone than regular phones. I know a lot of guys I work with who no longer carry a laptop around and just use their phones on business trips. Saves on packing!

compu4 said:

It must be all of the ****** who are downloading the iFart app.

DSparil said:

I guess they've excluded Japan for some unknown reason.

madboyv1, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Dsparil said:

I guess they've excluded Japan for some unknown reason.

While the US lags Japan and Korea in 3G penetration by a distance, due to higher penetration of smartphones and datacards, it has a much higher consumption than its Asian counterparts.

Japan is mentioned and given as a reference, just no actual numbers. That and you have to consider that Japan has less than half the population, so even if a larger percentage of their population are using data plans, they may still have less users overall, and compared to the US, Data transfers in Japan have far more microtransactions because of those data cards so they don't amount to as much as you would expect.

madboyv1, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Double post, my bad.

Ranger12 Ranger12 said:

Demons said:

I know a lot of guys I work with who no longer carry a laptop around and just use their phones on business trips. Saves on packing!

Yup I ditched my laptop a while ago. Way too much trouble to carry around, plus I have this thing for breaking laptops....

ChrisG683 said:

Well yeah, I have to post my facebook status 20 times a day!

taea00 said:

Considering data takes up significantly more room than voice does, I feel you wouldn't really need a large boost in the number of subscribes that are constantly using data to see a sharp increase in data usage. Voice doesn't take up anywhere near the room as video, graphics, webpage formatting.

sMILEY4ever said:

This is..bad news for people imo, but good news for most companies.

Jibberish18 said:

It's amazing. Americans having all jumped on the smartphone bandwagon. Just a few shorts years ago we were known as the cheap bastards who all wanted free phones, but now we're willing to dish out thousands of dollars a year for a smartphone coupled with a premium data plan.

mpribe said:

Remember a few years ago when everyone thought the mobile phone market was saturated? I guess we can always count on planned obsolescence to keep the electronics industry afloat.

miska_man said:

Would be interesting to see where the US ranks on data consumption overall (so minus the mobile part). I bet it would be alot less due to our super slow internet speeds compared to other countries.

Funny how we keep up (or even lead) in alot of things like these smartphones, yet I'm still downloading crap on a 768k connection while some guy over in Korea is streaming HD video AND playing online AND uploading illegal files on his 75mbps connection.

dlen said:

In Poland all mobile operators provide typical internet over 3.5G (7.2Mbps). That may cause large usage in comparison to USA.

Recipe7 Recipe7 said:

I would think Japan would be up there. But I know the US won't stop until they are number 1 D=.

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