Worldwide Mobile Services Revenue to Grow at Least 1.2% Annually Through 2014

Despite current market uncertainties, a new ABI Research study shows that even under the worst recovery scenarios, mobile services revenues will continue to grow at nearly 1.2% through 2014, a 0.5% loss over pre-crisis conditions.

“A long economic recovery places pressures on mobile operators to compete on price, particularly with undifferentiated voice services. Mobile data services allow operators to counter that pressure. However each region is different. Operators should create strategies that lead customers to maintain ‘nice-to-have’ data services or encourage addition of more utilitarian ones,” said Dan Shey, Practice Director, Mobile Services, ABI Research.

Economically, North America has been hit hardest. But mobile data services growth will exceed 8% through 2014 even in the worst recovery scenario and will shield mobile services revenues against growing voice pricing pressures.

While stimulus packages are helping power the Asia Pacific region through the financial crisis and limiting unemployment loss, regional operators derive a large portion of their data revenues from content downloads. These products would be the first casualties of an extended recession, particularly with APAC’s substantial prepay base. But operators can mitigate the impacts of the depressed conditions through appropriate messaging and offer management.

“Mobile operators need to stress the utility of mobile services and pursue appropriate services personalization initiatives that allow customers to buy and use services in ways that best suit their needs. Business customers should also be a target segment as businesses consider mobile a way to lower costs and increase competitiveness,” added Dan Shey.