GSMA Report: Data revenues will overtake voice call revenues by 2018

February 24, 2013

The latest mobile industry report shows that mobile operator data revenues will overtake voice call revenues by 2018, driven by the growing demand for connected devices and the benefits they can bring to consumers around the globe. Revenues from mobile data are about to surpass those for voice calls. The move to data could bring a range of revolutionary benefits to consumers the world over as connected devices improve the quality of cities, of education and of healthcare. The GSMA report, compiled in partnership with PwC shows that in OECD countries alone, mobile connected products used for health and fitness monitoring could save up to $400 billion in healthcare costs, while connected cars with a hotline to emergency services have the potential to save one in nine lives in road traffic accidents.

Smart metering and interactive connected home devices could cut carbon emissions by 27 million tonnes that is the equivalent of planting 1.2 billion trees. The increase in mobile operator data revenues is a global trend across both developed and emerging markets. In emerging markets, where the growth of smartphones and of connected devices is increasing at an almost identical rate, such technologies will also have a profound impact on the socioeconomic future of consumers. The report notes that Mobile data is not just a commodity, but is fast becoming the lifeblood of our daily lives, society and economy, with more and more connected people and things. This is an immense responsibility and the mobile industry needs to continue collaborating with governments and key industry sectors to deliver products and services that help people around the world improve their businesses and societies.

Data growth has spurred significant advances in connected devices and four sectors in particular namely health, education, automotive and smart cities are building on the evolution of mobile broadband access and services. In education, the benefits that the explosion in mobile technology devices brings are obvious. Only 10 percent of students in emerging economies enter secondary education due to the pressures of finding work or becoming self-sufficient. The report added that access to Tablets, e-readers and virtual teachers could provide secondary education to a further 180 million students a year. The development of smart cities with connected public transport systems will reduce congestion on roads, improve the performance of commuter trains and underground systems. Identifying problems this way could reduce commute times by 35%. Meanwhile ‘smart grid’ technology for monitoring electricity and gas use has the potential to increase environmental responsibility by drastically cutting energy overuse through smart metering.

Contador Harrison