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Filipino, UK operators lead the way in data revenue

Voice revenues continue to be squeezed due to pricing pressures

Data services is a new battleground for mobile operators that have successfully launched high-speed networks. Although SMS still represents the vast majority of data revenues in most cases (as is the case in the Philippines), operators' key focus is to generate substantial revenues through non-SMS data. Telstra is a good example of such a success story: the Australian operator has recently reported that more than 50% of its data revenue now comes from non-SMS data.

The trigger for this trend is the widespread adoption of new mobile data services such as mobile Internet, mobile banking, social networking and location-based services. The adoption of mobile broadband is also an important breakthrough as we see the use of 'dongles' becoming a major trend accross most markets where WCDMA/HSPA networks are available. Areas of focus for operators looking to accelerate adoption of high-speed services and boost non-SMS data revenues include: 1) Network Coverage (operators should focus on increasing CAPEX to make high-speed networks available outside the main urban areas); 2) Prepay data plans (operators should extend data services to prepay users to reach mass market); 3) Simplicity (data offers and tariffs should be simplified and comprehensible for both prepay and contract markets); 4) Partnerships (increase the number of partnerships with third parties and content providers).

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