Forecast: Data to drive 95% of worldwide mobile traffic by 2015

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Total global mobile data revenues are on track to eclipse $300 billion for the first time in 2011, according to new data issued by Chetan Sharma Consulting--in addition, this is the first year that non-messaging data revenues will represent the majority of worldwide data revenues, at 53 percent.

Forty-seven operators will generate more than $1 billion in mobile data revenues this year; in 2005, that number stood at only 13. Although China leads in the number of mobile subscribers, the U.S. leads in both total and data revenue, with Chetan Sharma anticipating American smartphone penetration to surpass 50 percent in 2012. Japan leads all nations in terms of mobile data revenue and data as a percentage of total ARPU; boosted by operators NTT DoCoMo, KDDI and Softbank, Japan is now the first major market to generate more than 50 percent of its mobile revenues from data services.

Data is now on pace to make up 95 percent of global mobile traffic by 2015, Chetan Sharma states. Connected devices are growing faster than other segment. The firm adds that several multi-billion dollar opportunities are emerging, including mobile advertising, m-commerce, mobile health, gaming and cloud computing.

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