Verizon Wireless edged past Japan’s NTT DoCoMo – the longtime leader in mobile data revenues – in the first quarter to become the biggest mobile data operator by data revenues, according to a report by Chetan Sharma Consulting.
Last month, Verizon Wireless reported first-quarter retail data revenue was up 25.6 percent, to $4.5 billion. The rest of the three top U.S. operators also occupy leading positions among the top 10 global mobile data operators, the consulting firm says. The U.S. wireless data market grew 5 percent quarter-over-quarter and 22 percent year-over-year to exceed $12.5 billion in mobile data service revenues.
In another global milestone, Japan’s Softbank became the first major operator to have more service revenues from data services than voice services. In the first quarter of 2010, 55 percent of its service revenues were attributed to data services.
Based on current projections, the U.S. market is likely to cross the 50 percent data revenue threshold in late 2012 or early 2013, Sharma predicts. In the first quarter of 2010, the average industry percentage contribution of data to overall ARPU in the United States crossed the 30 percent mark and is likely to get past 35 percent by end of the year.
Here are some other selections from the report.
– AT&T and Verizon now account for 69 percent of the market data service revenues and 62 percent of the subscription base.
– With voice and data combined, the U.S. subscription penetration was about 94 percent at the end of the first quarter of 2010. Taking out the demographic of 5 years and younger, the mobile penetration is now past 100 percent.
– While traditional net adds have been slowing, the “connected device” segment is picking up so much so that both AT&T and Verizon added more connected devices than postpaid subs in the first quarter.
– While the U.S. market lags Japan and Korea in 3G penetration due to higher penetration of smarpthones and data cards, the consumption is much higher in the United States than its Asian counterparts.