2007 Global Mobile - Data and Content Markets

Publication Overview

This annual report offers a wealth of information on the worldwide mobile data market. It also includes an overview of the mobile data markets on a regional level. Subjects covered include:

  • Mobile data infrastructure and developments
  • Mobile data services including SMS, MMS and Mobile TV
  • Mobile commerce and micropayments
  • Triple play in the mobile market
  • Mobile content including gambling, games, Internet, music and adult content
  • Telemetry, Automatic Data Capture and RFID
  • Location Based Services and GPS
  • Mobile handsets

Executive Summary

Mobile data is the answer to the declining revenues currently being experienced by the mobile industry. By 2015 it is expected that most mobile revenue will come from data. However, business models will need to change for this to occur – users will only want to access mobile data services if they are provided at low cost. For many mobile operators this is going to require significant changes to their current voice-centric business models.

One of the major areas where high-speed services are needed is in mobile data communications. To compete with fixed broadband, it is essential for reliable high-speed wireless technologies to be developed. Wireless broadband is much more suited for the delivery of mobile data than 3G, and the infrastructure also has more potential for the delivery of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP). These are two reasons why wireless broadband could start challenging 3G in the next decade.

While many countries are still considering the introduction of 3G, the industry has already developed 3¼G and beyond, with technologies such as High Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA). Linking fixed and mobile together on IP Multimedia System (IMS) is another development, allowing for mobile TV and triple play models.

To try and stay ahead of developments in the fixed broadband market, the mobile industry is developing its own triple play models, where voice, data and video are bundled.

Consumer need for greater bandwidth will continue to push the evolution from 3G to 4G. Increasingly users will require high data rates, similar to those on fixed networks, and they will want superior services – good video and sound quality for example. More bandwidth would also allow for more sophistication in receiving and managing large quantities of information and improve personalisation services. Convergence with other network (enterprise, fixed) services will also come about through the high session data rates.

By 2015 the mobile content market could be worth well in excess of $1 trillion, with voice comprising only a 10% share of the market – if the industry gets it right. Currently mobile operators are still not opening up their networks for mobile content; one of the main reasons being that the current mobile technologies are not well-suited for the delivery of what the market calls ‘rich experience’ content (multimedia, video, etc). So for now mobile data traffic will continue to comprise mostly SMS, followed by ringtones and a small proportion of everything else. The focus of the mobile operators will also remain on protecting their lucrative voice business for the time being.

Developments in mobile commerce are continuing, with banks and merchants beginning to show an interest in collaborating with mobile operators. With the introduction of contactless cards using Near Field Communications (NFC); this industry sector is beginning to show some signs of revival.

Handset development is also forging ahead with the introduction of the mobile wallet using technologies such as NFC, Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), bar codes, and visual recognition.

This report provides analyses, statistics and trends on the mobile data and content markets, including a brief overview of regional developments. It provides information on the 3¼G technologies in development, including HSDPA and IMS, and also a discussion on the technologies that are being used to bridge the gap between the well established 2G and the much vaunted 3G, such as GPRS, EDGE, HSCSD and i-mode.

The report also includes an overview and statistics on the various mobile content services such as music, gambling, adult content and mobile TV. Other topics covered include the mobile commerce market, telemetry, Location-Based Services (LBS), Global Positioning Services (GPS), and Automatic Data Capture including RFID - which is predicted to gain popularity due to a growing awareness of its benefits to many industries.

Key highlights:

  • In 2007 the worldwide mobile data market is worth over $100 billion.
  • While voice still makes up the majority of mobile traffic, it is estimated that mobile data now contributes more than 10% of global ARPU.
  • There are over 100 HSDPA networks either planned, in deployment or already commercially launched in more than 50 countries around the world.
  • Around 40 mobile operators are trialling or deploying IP Multimedia systems.
  • Entering 2007, South Korea leads the world in terms of mobile TV subscriber adoption, but Europe, Japan and the US are expected to become key markets in the future, due to their large mobile subscriber bases and popularity of TV viewing.
  • SMS remains an attractive application, with around a trillion text messages sent every year. The mobile industry is now looking towards Instant Messaging (IM), with dozens of trials taking place around the world.
  • Another extension of the immensely popular SMS service is the Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS); this provides the ability to send longer text messages, as well as music and pictures. However with each message costing on average around four times the cost of an SMS, price is hindering the take-up of this service.

Mobile data (non SMS) as an average % of operators’ revenue


Data share of mobile



RoW 2G


RoW 3G


WPAN beyond 2010


(Source: BuddeComm)
  • Asia Pacific currently dominates the mobile entertainment market, but North America will increasingly taker a larger share over the next five years.
  • Also in the next five years, the introduction of mobile wallets will lead to mobile phones enabled with NFC representing around 30% of yearly handset shipments.
  • While Location-Based Services (LBS) were over-hyped earlier this decade, hope has been rekindled following the emergence of handset-based GPS-enabled location services.
  • Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) has also existed for more than a decade, and is only now gaining popularity due to emerging awareness of its many industry applications. North America is the biggest regional player in RFID, accounting for around 60% of regional market revenues.

Table of Contents

1.2From WiMAX and 3G to 4G mobile
1.2.1Service evolution
1.2.2How to move forward?
1.2.3What went wrong with mobile data?
1.2.4Demand is there, supply is failing
1.3Overview of market developments
1.3.1Mobile data ARPU on the rise – 2006
1.4Analysis - moving into 2007
1.4.1The end of the mobile handset, or not
1.4.2Cellular-based mobile data developments
1.4.3Mobile – wireless integration
1.4.4EVDO: successful for business mobile data
1.4.5Wireless broadband next year or perhaps the year after, or….
1.4.6Content providers giving up hope
1.4.7The end of the line for large-scale mobile data
1.4.8How to proceed from here
2.1.2General Packet Radio Services (GPRS)
2.1.3High-Speed Circuit Switched Data (HSCSD)
2.2.1Unique features of mobile data
2.2.2High-Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA)
2.2.3HSDPA statistics
2.2.4Analysis - will HSDPA dethrone WiMAX?
2.2.5IP Multimedia System (IMS)
2.2.6IMS statistics
2.3Infrastructure developments
2.3.1Infrastructure options
2.3.2Bypassing the fixed network bottleneck
2.3.3The concept of Wireless Local Loop (WLL)
2.3.5Mobile-based infrastructure
2.3.6Fixed wireless broadband infrastructure (1st generation)
2.3.7Digital TV (DTV)
2.3.8Spread spectrum infrastructure
2.3.9Room for free wireless broadband
3.1.1A market grown by default
3.1.2Skyrocketing growth driven by low access to mobiles
3.1.3SMS in the USA
3.1.4Instant Messaging (IM)
3.1.5Premium SMS
3.2SMS and IM statistics and forecasts
3.2.1IM statistics 2006
3.2.2SMS statistics 2006
3.2.3IM statistics 2005
3.2.4SMS statistics 2005
3.2.5IM statistics 2004
3.2.6SMS statistics 2003 - 2004
3.3SMS market analysis
3.3.1Will SMS grow beyond its current niche market?
3.4SMS trends and developments
3.4.1SMS translation services
3.4.2SMS pornography
3.4.3Permission-based SMS
3.5IMS market
3.5.1Collaboration on improving systems
3.6Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD)
3.6.1Store-and-forward messaging services
3.6.2Key benefits
3.6.3Early providers
4.2Analysis of MMS and other video-based mobile developments
4.2.1The future is indeed video communications
4.2.2International overview
4.2.3Mobile video has been over-hyped
4.2.4Financial and technical limitations
4.2.5Key market 13-19 year olds
4.2.6Market size
4.2.7Competing technologies
4.2.8Regulation-driven competition
4.2.9Checking market realities
4.2.10Who takes the lead?
4.3Don’t write MMS off yet – another perspective
4.4MMS statistics
4.4.12006 statistics and forecasts
4.4.22005 statistics and forecasts
4.4.32004 statistics and forecasts
4.5MMS pricing statistics
4.6MMS for criminal surveillance
4.7MMS industry consortia
5.1Mobile TV standard
5.2Mobile TV phase 2
5.3The mobile TV fallacy - analysis
5.4Mobile TV and WiMAX could be a good match
5.5The broadcaster and the mobile operator
5.6Regional overview – mobile TV developments
5.6.1North America
5.6.2Latin America
5.6.4Middle East
5.7Mobile TV statistics and forecasts
6.2.1Payments by mobile phone
6.3M-commerce trends and developments
6.3.1Global NFC standard
6.3.2Mororola enters market
6.3.3PayPal offers mobile services
6.3.4Online games and micropayments
6.3.5Mobile cash payments
6.3.6Payments by cards
6.3.7Collapse of SimPay
6.3.8URL billing
6.3.9World’s first mobile-commerce system
6.4M-commerce analysis
6.4.1High costs hold sector back
6.4.2New business models required
6.4.3M-commerce on specialised devices
6.4.4No large residential market soon
6.4.5Good prospects for business market
6.4.6Smart phones and m-commerce
6.5M-commerce and micropayment statistics and forecasts
6.5.12006 statistics and forecasts
6.5.22005 statistics and forecasts
6.5.32004 statistics and forecasts
6.6Industry consortia
6.6.1Mobile Payment Forum
6.6.2Mobey Forum
6.6.3Mobile Electronic Transaction (MeT)
6.6.4PayCircle (2001 – 2005)
7.1Developments in mobile
7.22G multimedia services failed to take-off
7.3Multimedia essential element in triple play bundle
7.4Emerging technologies
7.4.1HSDPA – platform for triple play
7.4.2IP Multimedia Systems (IMS)
7.5Unlicensed Mobile Access (UMA)
7.6Mobile broadcast
7.6.1Mobile Broadcast Multicast Services (MBMS)
7.6.2Qualcomm’s MediaFLO network
7.7What about 4G?
8.1industry and market analyses
8.1.1A market still kept hostage
8.1.2New marketing and distribution models
8.1.3Mobile Digital Rights Management (MDRM)
8.2Statistics and services
8.2.1Mobile content statistics, trends and forecasts
8.2.2Mobile adult content
8.2.3Mobile email
8.2.4Mobile gambling
8.2.5Mobile games
8.2.6Mobile Internet
8.2.7Mobile music and ringtones
8.2.8Mobile User Generated Content (UGC)
8.2.9Mobile TV and video
8.2.10Mobile sports
8.2.11Mobile marketing
8.2.12Mobile and permission-based marketing - analysis
9.2Remote monitoring
9.2.1AMR using ZigBee
9.2.2ZIGBEE for lighting control
9.3Telemetry in healthcare
9.4Near Field Communication (NFC)
9.5Remote sensing satellites
9.6Conclusion - analysis
10.1Radio Frequency Identification (RFID)
10.1.2RFID tags
10.1.3Fragmented standards
10.1.4Spectrum allocation
10.2North America – a growing RFID market
10.2.1Examples of RFID use
10.3RFID statistics and forecasts
10.3.12006 statistics
10.3.22005 statistics
10.3.32004 statistics
10.4Concerns about privacy
10.5Concerns about security
10.6Other ADC technologies
10.6.1Bar codes
10.6.2Magnetic stripe systems
10.6.4Mark sense and Optical Character Recognition (OCR)
10.6.5Vision systems
10.6.6Voice recognition
10.6.7Magnetic ink character recognition
11.1Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS)
11.1.1Products of the cold war
11.1.2History (pre-GPS)
11.1.3Geographic information services
11.1.6Compass from China
11.2Location-Based Services (LBS)
11.2.2Key global LSB markets
11.2.3Location-based technologies
11.2.4LBS applications
11.3Global Positioning System (GPS)
11.3.2Differential GPS
11.3.3GPS applications
11.3.4Other developments
12.1Handset market
12.2Mobile handset statistics and forecasts
12.2.12006 statistics
12.2.22004 - 2005 statistics
12.2.3Statistics for handsets with advanced functions
12.3Handset supplier market shares
12.4Trends and developments
12.4.1SIM card developments
12.4.2The motion recognition phone
12.4.3Multimode devices
12.4.4Satellite phones
12.5Safety and security issues
12.5.1Exploding phones – problem still exists in 2006
12.5.2Mobile phones targeted by viruses
12.6Unsustainable handset subsidies
13.1North America
13.2Latin America
13.2.1Mobile data services in Latin America
13.3.1Western Europe
13.3.2Eastern Europe
13.4Africa/Middle East
13.4.2Middle East
13.6Pacific region
13.6.2New Zealand
13.6.3South Pacific
Exhibit 1 – Ericsson and HSPA
Exhibit 2 – HSPA, HSDPA, HSUPA
Exhibit 3 – Theoretical and realistic speeds GPRS, EDGE and UMTS (Kb/s)
Exhibit 4 – Major WCDMA/EDGE global operators – October 2006
Exhibit 5 – Countries/territories where HSDPA is planned, in deployment or commercially available – 2006
Exhibit 6 – What is IMS?
Exhibit 7 – Vendors involved in GMI 2006
Exhibit 8 – Comparison of access platforms’ advantages and disadvantages
Exhibit 9 – Comparison of mobile messaging technologies
Exhibit 10 – Comparison: SMS, EMS, MMS by Ovum
Exhibit 11 – Comparison: SMS, MMS by Mobile Streams
Exhibit 12 – Mobile TV - Unicast and MBMS – 2006
Exhibit 13 - 3G R&D developments
Exhibit 14 – Mobile facts and figures
Exhibit 15 – What users want
Exhibit 16 – Key m-gambling market segments
Exhibit 17 – Examples of telemetry applications
Exhibit 18 – Market players in telemetry healthcare sector
Exhibit 19 – Near Field Communications definition
Exhibit 20 – Examples of NFC applications
Exhibit 21 – RFID spectrum frequencies and application examples
Exhibit 22 – Assisted GPS (A-GPS)
Exhibit 23 – Location-based services applications
Exhibit 24 - Global Positioning System (GPS) applications and industry use
Exhibit 25 – Australia - revenue mix PSMS

Table 1 – Mobile data revenues – leading operators – 1st quarter 2006
Table 2 – Global wireless broadband subscribers by technology – 2011
Table 3 - Mobile data as a % of operators revenue - 2005
Table 4 - Mobile data (non SMS) as a % of operators revenue - 2005
Table 5 – No. of EDGE network deployments by region – October 2006
Table 6 – i-mode subscribers and annual change – Japan – 2000 - 2006
Table 7 – No. of countries with HSDPA network commitments by region – 2006
Table 8 – Estimated number of SMS text messages sent worldwide – 2006; 2010
Table 9 – US Consumer IM Destinations and monthly growth – June/July - 2005
Table 10 – Data as a percent of revenue for top 15 companies – 2003
Table 11 – Broadcast mobile TV subscribers worldwide – 2006; 2009
Table 12 – Broadcast mobile TV revenue forecast – leading countries - 2011
Table 13 – Predictions of global m-commerce revenues – 2006, 2009 - 2010
Table 14 – Forecast of number of regional mobile users purchasing retail goods via mobile – 2010
Table 15 – Regional share of mobile entertainment revenues – 2006; 2011
Table 16 – ARPU per mobile user for voice and data by region – 2004
Table 17 – Top US mobile content and applications and annual change – February 2005
Table 18 – Type of mobile content accessed by region – early 2005
Table 19 – Global mobile adult content revenues – 2005 - 2006; 2009; 2011
Table 20 – Number of mobile game users – global monthly averages – 2005; 2010
Table 21 – Forecast mobile music revenues for Asia Pacific – 2005; 2010
Table 22 – Forecast mobile music revenues for North America – 2005; 2011
Table 23 – Growth of photo messaging in North America, France, UK – Feb 2006 - July 2006
Table 24 – Global mobile sports revenue forecast – 2006; 2011
Table 25 – Global mobile advertising spend forecast – 2007; 2011
Table 26 – European wireless patient monitoring market revenues – 2004; 2011
Table 27 – NFC-enabled mobile phone shipments worldwide – 2011
Table 28 – RFID tags sold worldwide – 2005 - 2006
Table 29 – RFID spending in US – 2002 - 2008
Table 30 – Worldwide location-based service subscribers – 2006; 2011
Table 31 – Worldwide mobile handset sales – 2004 - 2006
Table 32 – Mobile handset revenues worldwide – 2002 - 2006
Table 33 – Mobile systems sales revenue per vendor – 2004 - 2007
Table 34 – Mobile phone features desired by US users – June 2004
Table 35 – Handset supplier’s market shares – 1998 - 2005
Table 36 – Revenues PSMS market – 2004 - 2007

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Mobile & Wireless Broadband and Media

Number of pages 172

Status Archived

Last updated 14 Feb 2007
Update History

Analyst: Stephen McNamara

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