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Verizon, AT&T account for 69% of mobile data revenue


With smartphones now accounting for 55% of device sales, mobile data revenues in the U.S. grew 22% year-on-year during the second quarter, totaling $16.2 billion. These were among the takeaways in a new, wide-ranging report from Chetan Sharma Consulting.

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The firm touched on platform and ARPU changes, service revenues and subscriber growth, and trends occurring globally and closer to home. For example, Americans have passed Filipinos — whose attention has turned to Facebook and other app-based messaging solutions — to become the world`s most ardent text messagers, sending an average 664 messages per month. (The carriers should be on their knees each night, thanking heaven for little girls, who Pew has found to send 100 texts a day, or 3,000 a month.) Will Americans` attention similarly turn, in time? The firm didn`t say, swiftly moving on to other ground.)

Other notable observations and findings:

-- Verizon and AT&T together instigated 77% of data revenue growth during the second quarter, accounting for 69% of the market`s data services revenue.

-- Voice ARPU (average revenue per user) declined $0.48 during the quarter, while data ARPU increased by $0.89. Verizon, AT&T and Sprint each had data ARPU contribute more than 35% to their bottom lines, and Chetan Sharma expects data revenues to exceed voice revenues by early 2013.

-- With Google and Motorola teaming up (CP: Google-Motorola: Sorting out the winnes and losers), the firm notes that, "Companies left without dancing partners need to ensure that they are not the only one left standing when the music stops."

The holiday shopping season will prove critical for Microsoft, which is hoping its Xbox franchise gives it an edge (MDP: Is Xbox Live Microsoft`s Sure Way To Grow Mobile App Revenue?). As for RIM and HP — which analysts widely expect may be scanning the crowd for new partners — Chetan Sharma reports that neither has much of an ecosystem to speak of. "They can be successful in their own ways, but attaining a leadership position remains significantly challenging."

-- Isis, Payfone, Amex, Direct Carrier Billing. While new mobile billing announcements have come one after the other this year, there`s still "much more to come in the next 12 months," the firm forecasts.

-- Apple overtook Nokia as the "king of the smartphone hill," says the report, "but Samsung is right behind and is likely to overtake Apple later this year."

-- We`ve written often on this site about carriers` troubles moving pricier 3G-enabled tablets, and Chetan Sharma writes that 85% of tablets are relying on WiFi only, "meaning the operator channel is not a necessary distribution channel."

How to keep a finger in this pie? Says the report, "Operators who start to bundle multiple devices by single data plans and data buckets are going to see a better yield in this category."


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