Market Research Logo

2008 Global Mobile - Data and Content Markets

This annual report offers a wealth of information on the worldwide development of mobile data and content. Information on a regional level is also provided for the Americas, Europe, Middle East and Asia Pacific. The report includes analyses, statistics, forecasts and trends. It provides a comprehensive insight into the progress of mobile data and examines some the issues impacting upon the operators and overall uptake of the services. In addition, the report provides information on mobile data infrastructure.

Topics covered include:

  • Overview and analyses of the mobile data market;
  • Statistics and forecasts for key mobile content and services;
  • Mobile messaging services;
  • Mobile TV/video;
  • Mobile commerce and M-payments;
  • Telemetry and RFID;
  • Location Based Services (LBS) and GPS;
  • Mobile handsets;
  • Mobile data infrastructure;
  • Regional overview.
Researchers: Paul Budde, Lawrence Baker, Lucia Bibolini, Peter Evans, Phil Harpur, Kay Harris, Lisa Hulme-Jones, Paul Kwon, Henry Lancaster, Peter Lange, Kylie Wansink

Edition: 12th


The mobile data sector offers enormous potential, reflected by the number of diverse players all vying for this market. Competition is increasing and there is some evidence that usage of mobile data content and services is starting to grow - albeit slowly.

In 2008 the mobile operators will continue to focus on IMS. This offers the potential to have interoperability of applications over various networks - a very powerful tool for telcos in their battle to maintain supremacy in the market. Mobile operators need to retain a competitive edge as mobile manufacturers and Internet Media companies (ie, Google) attempt to move into the mobile data space. Apple and Google have already set the cat among the pigeons; they are promoting phones that will make it much easier to access web-based services and, with Google’s proven advertising skills, this will almost certainly mean a lot of free services for the users. Google is also exploring mobile LBS; currently predicted as a mobile data growth area for 2008. For more information, see chapter 7.2.4, page 86.

While we acknowledge that there is huge potential for wireless data, mobility services and media rich content, both the business and technical fundamentals of the current marketplace are not conducive to significant growth in mobile content. As a result, voice will remain the killer application for mobile for the time being, with data services included as support services and niche market services. BuddeComm sees wireless broadband (4G or WiMAX) as the real solution required to unlock the mobile data sector. For more information, see chapter 1.1.1, page 1.

Even though the technology issues regarding the delivery of mobile data have not yet been resolved, operators continue to move forward with HSPA; many commercial rollouts of both HSUPA (uplink) and HSDPA (downlink) are either underway or planned for 2008. The question is, will HSPA ever reach its true mass market potential or will WiMAX or 4G take that position in 2010-2012? For more information, see chapter 2.2.1, page 33.

The most popular mobile data segment of all, SMS, is set to continue its growth in 2008 with estimates that over 2 trillion messages will be sent worldwide. This supports our claim that of the various new telecoms technologies and innovations over the last few decades, there can only be one conclusion drawn - the most popular services are usually communications-based - not entertainment, not information, but communications. We expect mobile messaging revenues to account for around $65-75 billion in 2008. However, while mobile messaging traffic volumes will increase, market saturation and increasing competition, which is affecting the mobile industry as a whole, is expected to slightly dampen down overall messaging revenue growth. For more information, see chapter 3.1.1, page 47.

The other data service in which mobile has been reasonably successful is the telemetry sector. This market is continuing to develop fast with the uptake of telemetry applications by healthcare facilities and the use of RFID based applications in the manufacturing and logistics industries.

Use of LBS, including GPS is also expected to continue during 2008 with LBS proving popular in North America due to services such as the Disney Family Locator. Car navigation systems are also increasing in popularity, particularly in Europe and the US. For more information, see chapter 7.2, page 83.

Banks and financial services sectors are beginning to pay great interest in mobile commerce, particularly m-payments and m-banking. Developments in contactless payments are continuing and in 2008 there are many trials of mobile payments taking place around the world. A major pilot is being conducted in Europe by O2 in the UK using NFC technology on mobile phones. Focus has also turned to the developing markets, where mobile phones are being viewed as an opportunity to reach the masses that would not otherwise use m-payment or m-banking services. For more information, see chapter 5.1.1, page 61.

The hype regarding mobile TV continues in 2008. However, the reality is that very few people are prepared to pay the prices that the operators are charging for the service. The current technologies - and, more importantly, its business models - don’t yet stack up. It may be a great engineering achievement, but where is the business model? Mobile video entertainment and communication services however certainly have a bright future - once the appropriate technology is in place. For more information, see chapter 4.1.1, page 55.

In order to support all of the emerging mobile services, we are now seeing the development of more user-friendly and interactive mobile devices. In spite of this, overall sales of mobile handsets worldwide are expected to level out in 2008. This is due to saturation in the developed markets balancing out the booming growth we have observed in developing regions. Mobile handset suppliers continue to have an uphill battle to increase revenues in the face of declining handset prices. In 2008 Nokia retains its position as leader of this sector in terms of market share. For more information, see chapter 8.1.1, page 90.

This report provides an insight and analysis into the trends and developments taking place in the mobile data and content sector. A global overview and analyses on the progress of mobile data is provided, as well as information on mobile data infrastructure. Statistics and forecasts on mobile content and services is included with a particular focus on messaging services, mobile TV/video, m-commerce/m-payments and telemetry including RFID, LBS and GPS. Information at a regional level for North America, Latin America, Europe, Middle East and Asia Pacific is also incorporated.

Key highlights:

  • In the wake of the popularity of HSDPA, currently over 25 HSUPA networks have been commercially launched in 20 countries around the world.
  • Today more than 40 mobile operators worldwide are developing mobile IM services for personal use and in late 2007 personal mobile IM became available in Asia.
  • In 2008 it is predicted over 2 trillion text messages will be sent worldwide and this number continues to grow.
Total mobile messaging revenues worldwide - 2007; 2008
Year Approximate SMS revenue
($ billion)
2007 55
2008 (e) 65-75
(Source: BuddeComm, 2008)

The USA is planning the most significant upgrade to its GPS system since its launch. GPS III satellites are expected to have 500 times the transmitter power of the current system. For more information, see chapter 7.1, page 81.
In 2008 mobile TV/video is commercially available in some markets and there will be further launches and trials taking place in all regions of the world.
The introduction of smaller and more flexible chipset modules will reduce the size of the RFID readers and bring overall costs down. For more information, see chapter 6.5, page 75.
Operators around the world are contemplating and deploying IMS; a mobile platform that makes seamless communications possible between fixed and mobile networks. Initially attitudes towards IMS were overly positive, but the hype is now settling with operators taking a more realistic and cautious approach.
In 2008 around 70% of GPRS operators have committed to deploying EDGE in their networks worldwide. For more information, see chapter 2.1.1, page 26.
The US mobile data sector continued to enjoy strong growth (at around 60%) in 2007.
Mobile operators in Eastern Europe are slowly focusing on mobile data, particularly in countries where prospects for revenue growth from saturated voice markets are slim and the number of deployed WCDMA/HSDPA networks is on the rise, a tribute to the technology's maturity and its dominance of the 3G technology market.

  • EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
    • Table Total mobile messaging revenues worldwide - 2007; 2008
  • AN OVERVIEW AND ANALYSIS 2008 - WIRELESS BROADBAND THE KEY
    • MOBILE DATA OVERVIEW & ANALYSIS 2008
      • Introduction
      • Service evolution from 3G to 4G
      • Mobile data growth
        • Table Ranking of key mobile services & content segments by market share - 2008
        • Table Non-SMS monthly mobile data ARPU (selected operators) - Q1 2007
      • Analysis of key developments - 2008
    • MOBILE CONTENT AND OFF-DECK SERVICES
      • Market analysis
      • The market in 2008
        • Table Estimated market share of key mobile services & content segments1 - 2008
        • Table Regional share of mobile entertainment revenues - 2006; 2011
      • Key industry segments: statistics and forecasts
        • Table Worldwide mobile adult content and services revenue - 2005 - 2006; 2008; 2010
        • Table Worldwide wagers spent on mobile gambling - 2007; 2012
        • Table Worldwide mobile gaming revenue - 2004; 2007; 2009; 2011
        • Table Mobile gaming revenue - Asia Pacific, Western Europe, North America - 2007; 2011
        • Table Mobile game users - global monthly averages - 2005; 2010
        • Table Top 3 mobile games worldwide - 2006
        • Table Top 10 mobile game publishers worldwide by market share - May 2006
        • Table Mobile Internet users in the US - 2007; 2012
        • Table Asia Pacific mobile music revenues - 2005; 2010
        • Table North America full-track mobile music revenues - 2005; 2011
        • Table Growth of photo messaging in N America, France, UK - February - July 2006
        • Table Worldwide mobile sports and infotainment revenue - 2007; 2011
      • Future predictions
      • Mobile Digital Rights Management (MDRM)
  • CURRENT MOBILE DATA INFRASTRUCTURE (2G, 3G)
    • GPRS, PUSH-TO-TALK, EDGE, HSCSD, I-MODE
      • Introduction
      • General Packet Radio Services (GPRS)
        • Table Theoretical and realistic speeds GPRS, EDGE and UMTS (kb/s)
        • Table Estimated PTT subscribers worldwide - 2006; 2008; 2012
      • High-Speed Circuit Switched Data (HSCSD)
      • Enhanced Data for GSM Evolution (EDGE)
        • Table Number of GSM/EDGE networks in commercial service - 2007 - 2008
        • Table Examples of major WCDMA/EDGE operators
      • i-mode
        • Table i-mode subscribers in Japan and annual change - 2000 - 2006
        • Table Mobile Internet services, standards and subscribers by providers in Japan - May 2007
    • HSPA AND IMS
      • HSPA, HSDPA, HSUPA
      • HSDPA developments and deployment
        • Table Number of countries with HSDPA network commitments by region - November 2007
        • Table Countries/territories where HSDPA is commercially available - November 2007
      • HSUPA developments and deployment
      • Will HSPA break through into the broadband market?
      • Analysis - HSPA versus wireless broadband
      • IP Multimedia systems (IMS)
      • IMS development and deployment
      • Analysis: complex, ambitious yet promising
  • MOBILE MESSAGING SERVICES
    • SMS, INSTANT MESSAGING, UNIFIED MESSAGING, MULTIMEDIA MESSAGING SERVICES & EMAIL
      • Short Messaging Service (SMS)
        • Table Estimated number of SMS text messages sent worldwide - 2005 - 2012
        • Table Total mobile messaging revenue worldwide - 2007; 2008
      • Instant Messaging (IM)
        • Table Worldwide Instant Messaging revenues (all segments) - 2007; 2011
      • Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS)/Enhanced SMS (EMS)
      • Unified Messaging (UN)
        • Table Worldwide unified communication products and service market value - 2007; 2012
      • Email/mobile email
        • Table Number of email users worldwide - 2008; 2011
        • Table Number of emails sent each day worldwide - 2007; 2011
      • Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD)
  • MOBILE TV/VIDEO
    • MOBILE TV AND MOBILE VIDEO MEDIA
      • Mobile TV standard
      • DVB-H for Europe
      • Mobile TV
      • Analysis - focus on video media, not TV
      • Mobile TV around the world
      • Mobile TV statistics and forecasts
        • Table Mobile video subscribers versus broadcast mobile TV subscribers - 2011
        • Table Comparison of analysts' broadcast mobile TV subscriber forecasts - 2007 - 2012
        • Table Top 3 mobile broadcast TV markets - 2012
        • Table Mobile video revenue versus broadcast mobile TV revenue - 2006; 2008; 2011
  • M-COMMERCE AND M-PAYMENTS
    • MOBILE DATA - M-COMMERCE & M-PAYMENTS
      • M-commerce analysis
      • Mobile payments (M-payments)
      • Mobile banking (M-banking)
        • Table Mobile banking users in the USA - 2007; 2011
      • M-commerce milestones
        • Table Milestones in m-commerce
      • Further published statistics and forecasts
        • Table Forecast of number of regional mobile users purchasing retail goods via mobile - 2010
      • Industry consortia
  • TELEMETRY & RADIO FREQUENCY IDENTIFICATION (RFID)
    • TELEMETRY
    • TELEMETRY IN HEALTHCARE
      • Table Market value and CAGR of telehealth - 2012
      • Redefining a medical consultation
    • REMOTE MONITORING
      • Automatic meter reading (AMR) using ZigBee
      • ZigBee for lighting control
    • NEAR FIELD COMMUNICATIONS (NFC)
      • Dedicated Short Range Communications (DSRC)
    • RADIO FREQUENCY IDENTIFICATION (RFID)
      • Overview
      • RFID tags
      • Fragmented standards
      • Spectrum allocation
        • Table RFID spectrum frequencies and application examples
    • OTHER AUTOMATIC DATA CAPTURE (ADC) TECHNOLOGIES
      • Bar codes
      • Magnetic stripe systems
      • Smartcards
      • Mark sense and Optical Character Recognition (OCR)
      • Vision systems
      • Voice recognition
      • Magnetic ink character recognition (MICR)
    • REMOTE SENSING SATELLITES
    • MACHINE-TO-MACHINE TRANSMISSION
  • NAVIGATION, GPS, LBS
    • GLOBAL NAVIGATION SATELLITE SYSTEMS (GNSS)
      • Products of the cold war
      • History (pre-GPS)
      • Geographic information services
      • EutelTRACS
      • Galileo/EGNOS
      • Compass from China
    • LOCATION-BASED SERVICES (LBS)
      • Introduction
      • LBS - market overview
        • Table Worldwide LBS subscribers - 2011
      • Location-based technologies
      • LBS applications
        • Table LBS applications by market division
    • GLOBAL POSITIONING SYSTEM (GPS)
      • Introduction
      • Differential GPS
      • GPS market overview
        • Table Worldwide market share of mobile phones equipped with GPS - 2006 - 2009
      • GPS applications
        • Table GPS applications and industry use
  • MOBILE HANDSETS
    • MOBILE EQUIPMENT - HANDSETS
      • Handset market growth
      • Mobile handset statistics and forecasts
        • Table Worldwide mobile handset sales - 2004 - 2008
        • Table Mobile handset revenue worldwide* - 2002 - 2005; 2012
      • Statistics for handsets with advanced functions
      • Handset supplier market shares
        • Table Handset supplier market share - top 3 suppliers - Q3 2007
        • Table Handset suppliers' market shares - 1999 - 2005; 2007
      • Trends and developments
      • Safety and security issues
  • REGIONAL OVERVIEWS
    • NORTH AMERICA
      • USA
      • Canada
    • LATIN AMERICA
      • Overview
      • Messaging services
      • GSM data service
      • CDMA data service
      • 3G data services
      • BlackBerry
    • EUROPE
      • Western Europe
        • Table Monthly voice, non-voice, total mobile ARPUs in Western Europe - 2006; 2012
        • Table SMS messaging revenue and forecasts - 2006 - 2008
        • Table Dearest 11 European countries; roaming charges per MB - Q3 2007
        • Table European mobile gaming market value - 2005 - 2007; 2009; 2012
      • Eastern Europe
        • Table Combined GPRS/EDGE/UMTS mobile data subscribers in Lithuania - 2004 - 2007
    • AFRICA AND THE MIDDLE EAST
      • Africa
      • Middle East
    • ASIA
      • Overview
      • China
        • Table China Mobile and China Unicom CDMA 1x mobile VAS revenue - 2006
        • Table Growth of text messages (SMS) in China - 2000 - 2006
        • Table CNNIC WAP usage report - March 2007
      • Hong Kong
        • Table 2.5G and 3G subscriber growth in Hong Kong - 2002 - 2007
        • Table Monthly SMS volume in Hong Kong - 2002 - 2007
        • Table Hong Kong SMS statistics for special dates (000s) - 2005 - 2007
      • India
      • Indonesia
        • Table Telkomsel SMS usage and annual change - September 2005
      • Japan
        • Table Mobile wireless Internet subscribers in Japan - 2000 - 2007
      • Malaysia
      • Philippines
      • Singapore
        • Table Total SMS messages per month in Singapore - 2004 - 2007
      • South Korea
      • Taiwan
        • Table GPRS subscribers in Taiwan - 2001 - 2006
        • Table SMS message volume and revenue in Taiwan - 2001 - 2006
      • Thailand
      • Vietnam
    • PACIFIC REGION
      • Australia
        • Table SMS growth forecasts for Australia - 2003 - 2010
        • Table Growth in Telstra SMS messages - 2001 - 2007
      • New Zealand
  • GLOSSARY OF ABBREVIATIONS

Download our eBook: How to Succeed Using Market Research

Learn how to effectively navigate the market research process to help guide your organization on the journey to success.

Download eBook

Share this report