Mobile Internet service revenue up 23.4% in 2013 to $300 billion, says ABI Research

Global mobile Internet service revenue rose 23.4 percent in 2013 to roughly $300 billion, said ABI Research.

One of the main growth drivers is 28.8 percent increase in wireless broadband subscription, the study said.

ABI Research said the smartphone share of total subscriptions advanced by 6.6 percent to capture 27.5 percent of the overall pie.

The telecom analysis does not share country specific details for 2013.

Despite the strong gains in mobile Internet, global wireless service revenue is expected to have grown 3.2 percent to slightly over $1 trillion.


In 2014, mobile Internet related revenues will power ahead with growth in the 13 to 15 percent range. This will be a big boost for global telecoms such as China Mobile, AT&T, Vodafone, Verizon, Telefonica, Bharti Airtel, etc.

LTE is providing some upsell opportunities with multi-device plans and increased data quota plans, but by and large, 4G has not reversed the declining average revenue per user (ARPU) trend in most countries.

North America will contribute the most to the increase in mobile Internet service revenue, despite the maturity of the North American market and that only 5.5 percent of global cellular subscriptions are based there.

Ying Kang Tan, research associate, ABI Research, said: “We expect ARPU in the region to rise in 2014 before declining again due to competition and lower revenue generating connections subscribing to mobile broadband.”

In mobile data traffic growth, Asia-Pacific will lead the pack, generating 16.8 exabytes of traffic in 2014 for a 40.2 percent share.

After launching LTE services in late 2013, China will experience a surge in data traffic in 2014. Even mature markets like South Korea and Japan will continue to see strong growth as operators boost capacity with LTE-Advanced technologies.

The report does not cite India, where telecom operators such as Vodafone, Bharti Airtel, Reliance Communications, Tata Teleservices, Idea Cellular, etc. are looking at adding mobile Internet revenue to ensure more profit.