Increasing adoption of messaging and content services is expected to push operator-billed data revenues in South America from $8.7 billion in 2008 to more than $23.3 billion by 2013, according to a new report from Juniper Research.
The report found that as voice revenues are coming under ever-increasing pressure from competitive pricing and regulatory intervention, operators are seeking to enhance their portfolios of on-portal content. However, it also cautioned that excessive retail price points and data download costs were continuing to restrict the development of rich media services across the region.
According to report author Dr Windsor Holden, “Although we’ve witnessed a quite remarkable surge in subscriber growth across the region over the past three years, South America continues to lag behind the rest of the world in terms of its uptake of non-voice services. And while this can in part be attributed to the historical difficulties around interoperability which delayed mass adoption of SMS services, it is also fair to say that the high cost of games, browsing and mobile video has acted as a significant inhibitor to growth”.
Nevertheless, the report expressed optimism that costs would fall and adoption rates rise, with content usage likely to receive a further boost as operators’ recently launched 3G services steadily gain subscribers.
Other findings include:
South American mobile user base is expected to rise from 411 million in 2008 to 556 million in 2013
Total operator-billed voice revenues for the region are expected to peak in 2011 at $67.3 billion and will decline thereafter
Mexico will retain the highest blended ARPU across the region throughout the forecast period, marginally ahead of Chile.
Source: Cellular News.