Data Share Of Revenue Increases In US – IDC Study

As expected years ago, data revenues are steadily climbing in the US, following the patterns set in Japan, Korea, and Europe. A recent IDC report finds that 5.8% of US cellular revenue now comes from data services, or $1.6B in aggregate. Somewhat proving Mike’s Techdirt argument, 50% of that revenue is from messaging, or user created content, so studio content is NOT the biggest part of wireless data. The press release did not cite how much of that revenue is studio-based. Sprint PCS is the leader in data ARPU, largely because of their “flat rate” data plan, onto which they also add “premium service” charges. I actually wrongly criticized Sprint’s “flat rate” plan years ago when they launched it, incorrectly assuming it was actually a flat rate. Sprint is also likely to retain more of the data ARPU, since their revenues are more “network service” based, as opposed to directly related to a game download, such as the BREW ecosystem. In that ecosystem, the carrier shares the revenues with the content developer. Here’s the skinny from RCR Wireless News, “Sprint recently reported that data services accounted for nearly 10 percent of the carrier’s $61 in ARPU during the first quarter of this year, compared with 7.5 percent for Cingular, 6.6 percent for T-Mobile USA Inc., 6.1 percent for Verizon Wireless and 3.7 percent for Nextel Communications Inc.”

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