U.S. data revenues surge past $19.3B in Q2

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Mobile operators in the U.S. raked in second quarter 2012 data revenues of $19.3 billion, up 5 percent quarter-over-quarter and a 19 percent year-over-year increase despite the ongoing erosion of messaging revenues, according to new research from Chetan Sharma Consulting.

Messaging volume in the U.S. market grew by 5 percent year-over-year, increasing 1 percent over the first quarter of 2012. American subscribers are now sending an average of 696 messages per month. "However, most operators are seeing decline in messaging revenue growth due to IP messaging," Sharma notes. "As expected, this transition will continue around the world at different rates. In the U.S., while the change is underway, we don't expect any dramatic declines like in the Philippines or the Netherlands in the near-term."

Data now represents close to 42 percent of all U.S. mobile industry service revenues, and remains on pace to eclipse the $80 billion mark this year. Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) and AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T) combined to generate 68 percent of U.S. mobile data services revenues during the second quarter. The two operators together make up 66 percent of the nationwide subscriber base. Overall average revenue per user slipped by $0.03 during the second quarter: Average voice ARPU declined $0.63, while average data ARPU grew $0.60, a 3 percent quarter-over-quarter increase.

Source: Chetan Sharma Consulting, 2012

Sharma adds that the U.S. market has experienced triple-digit growth in mobile data consumption since Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) introduced its first iPhone in mid-2007. American mobile subscribers will consume 2000 petabytes of data this year, with each petabyte representing a million gigabytes.

"In 2012, we expect the mobile data growth to be around 80 percent," Charma says. "This has largely been driven by the introduction of data tiers, the use of Wi-Fi offload, more developer education, throttling in some instances, and some compression and offloading solutions."

For more:
- read this Chetan Sharma Consulting report

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