Global non-SMS services grew to 61% of data revenues in Q3 2011 from 55% in Q3 2010

Smartphone penetration doubled in Q3 2011 to reach 21% of
wireless users.

Year-over-year smartphone penetration doubled to reach 21
percent of wireless subscriptions by Q3 2011.

Smartphones have stimulated healthy increases in non-SMS
data revenues that continue to lift operator performance despite declining
voice and static SMS markets.

Regionally, non-SMS data revenues grew to 54 percent of
total data in Western Europe and 72 percent in North America.

Over last 12 months, while wireless ARPU fell eight
percent and voice ARPU declined 13-14 percent, data ARPU increased by more than
five percent,” said Phil Kendall, director Wireless Operator Strategies, and
author of the report at Infonetics Research.

Non-SMS services which have become the real driver of
growth increased from 55 percent of data revenues in Q3 2010 to 61 percent in
Q3 2011.

Smartphones for existing wireless customers are a
principal source of ARPU uplift which operators cannot afford to ignore. Tapping
into the next wave of smartphone adoption through lower cost devices and
entry-level data plans will be crucial to medium-term operator revenue growth.

Unfortunately smartphones are not a panacea and are
accelerating the decline in SMS revenues as Over-The-Top (OTT) messaging
platforms, such as Blackberry Messenger, WhatsApp and Apple iMessage,
dramatically increase,” said
Sue Rudd, director of Service Provider Analysis at Strategy Analytics.

As a result, SMS ARPU fell in all regions. Many operators
face a tricky balancing act as they seek price points for data plans that are
low enough to stimulate demand but high enough to compensate for SMS
cannibalization, according to a Strategy Analytics report called Smartphone
Penetration Doubles, Driving Non-SMS Data Growth.”

By Team
[email protected]