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February 26, 2013

Mobile Economy 2013 Report Shows Data Revenue will Surpass Voice by 2017

By Brittany Walters-Bearden, TMCnet Contributor

Alexander Graham Bell probably could never have imagined a future in which speaking was secondary to a telephone, let alone digital devices. In the age of the smartphone, though, that’s the direction in which the world is quickly headed.

In his article, “Mobile Data Revenue in U.S. and U.K. to Surpass Voice Revenue by 2014,” John Paczkowski of All Things D, reported that 1.6 billion mobile broadband connections exist today, and there will be 5.1 billion in five years time. His figures came from GSMA’s (News - Alert) report, published yesterday morning, the Mobile Economy 2013 report

One of the most intriguing findings of the piece was its prediction that by 2017, mobile operator data revenue will exceed voice revenue. In fact, it’s anticipated that Argentina will reach that milestone this year.

For the struggling economies of the world, this mobile data growth may hold a remedy: it is anticipated that the mobile industry will employ more than 10 million people within the next five years.

There’s a number of other “big picture”-type benefits that this growth could have, according to the report, like the possibility that mobile health services could potentially save one million lives in Africa. Thanks to mobile devices like tablets and e-readers, there’s also the potential to educate 1.8 million children by 2017. 

In the “developed” world, mHealth will reportedly reduce the total medical bills of the countries that comprise the OECD by the same time.

Michael O’Hara, CMO at GSMA, reflected on the data presented in the report; “Mobile data is not just a commodity. It is becoming the lifeblood of our daily lives, society and economy, with more and more connected people and things.” 

With the potential to benefit healthcare and education, mobile data will truly become our society and economy’s lifeblood, not just for procuring information, but shaping the way that people live, learn and earn their livings.

Edited by Braden Becker
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