Mobile broadband revenue will grow at an 11.8 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) from 2013 to 2018, said Infonetics Research.
LTE services are expected to account for half of total mobile broadband service revenue in 2018, with North America making up the majority.
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Mobile broadband has fueled overall mobile service revenue growth in 2013, offsetting year-over-year decreases in voice and SMS revenue.
Despite the rise of mobile data, blended ARPU continues to fall or stay flat in every region except developing Asia Pacific, where it rose slightly in China.
Mobile broadband subscribers will pass postpaid voice subscribers by the end of 2014, said Infonetics.
Voice services are expected to stay above 50 percent of total mobile service revenue through 2016.
Telecom operators’ 2013 revenue rose 1 percent to $800 billion — from mobile services including mobile voice, SMS/MMS, and broadband.
Growth in Asia Pacific was 5 percent, the Caribbean and Latin America 4 percent, and North America 3 percent, while there was a high single-digit decline in EMEA.
European telecom market
Europe dragged global mobile service revenue in 2013, mainly due to mobile saturation and weak consumer spending. Price-based competition in markets including Belgium, France, Italy, Spain, and The Netherlands had also contributed to the decline.
Stephane Teral, principal analyst for mobile infrastructure and carrier economics at Infonetics Research, said: “CEOs of European telecoms Deutsche Telekom, Orange, Telecom Italia, Telefonica and Vodafone are pushing the European Commission for more consolidation to reduce the number of operators in each country, from four or five to just three.”