A new GSMA report has revealed that mobile operator data revenues will overtake voice revenues globally by 2018. The report shows that this growth is driven by a surge in demand for connected devices and machine-to-machine (M2M) communications and is transforming the socioeconomic future of people in developed and developing countries. The report developed in collaboration with PwC, reveals how innovative mobile connected products and services will revolutionize people’s lives over the next five years.
The report shows that data growth has spurred significant advances in connected devices and M2M technologies globally. Four sectors in particular – health, automotive, education and smart cities – are building on the evolution of mobile broadband access and services.
Data for developed countries revealed that mHealth could save $400 billion in healthcare costs in OECD countries. While connected cars could save one in nine lives through emergency calling services, mEducation could reduce student drop-outs by eight per cent or 1.8 million children. It also found that smart metering can cut carbon emissions by 27 million tonnes – the equivalent of planting 1.2 billion trees
Data for developing countries revealed that mHealth can help save one million lives in sub-Saharan Africa. mAutomotive will improve food transport and storage, which could help feed more than 40 million people annually – equivalent to entire the population of Kenya. mEducation can enable 180 million students to further their education. Intelligent transport systems could reduce commute times by 35 per cent, giving commuters back a whole week each year
“Mobile data is not just a commodity, but is becoming the lifeblood of our daily lives, society and economy, with more and more connected people and things,” said Michael O’Hara, Chief Marketing Officer, GSMA. “This is an immense responsibility and the mobile industry needs to continue collaborating with governments and key industry sectors to deliver products and services that help people around the world improve their businesses and societies.”
The report revealed that, the increase in mobile operator data revenues is a global trend across both developed and emerging markets. In 2012, Japan became the first country where data revenues exceeded voice revenues, due largely to the availability of advanced mobile broadband networks and a higher adoption of the latest smartphones, tablets and connected devices. This year, Argentina’s data revenues will exceed voice revenues, attaining this milestone ahead of the US and UK, which will reach this point in 2014. Kenya will experience this shift in 2016, with other emerging economies expected to follow as mobile broadband continues to thrive.