Bad Economy Means Less Mobile Spending

The average revenue per user (ARPU) for mobile communications end users dropped between 5 and 15 percent for 2008 compared to 2007, according to a report from market research firm ABI Research. China, India, and a number of other Asian markets dropped more than 10 percent. In Europe the ARPU contraction was in the range of 5 to 8 percent. Mobile data contributes 38 percent of the Japanese ARPU. The study, "Mobile Subscriber ARPU, Voice, Messaging and Data Traffic Market Data," shows that one of the fastest growing revenue segments for mobile operators is mobile Internet, driven by access fees and data traffic. Internet-related revenues grew between 15 and 25 percent over the year. ABI Research expects absolute mobile Internet revenues to continue growing robustly in spite of the economic downturn in 2009. End-user voice traffic still grew between 2 and 10 percent depending on the market, but revenue/minute continues to decline. End-users are embracing mobile data applications such as messaging, web browsing and game downloads.

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