Research by market analyst EMC has identified rapid growth in the take-up of 2.5G services in Europe, with 16m active users.
According to EMC’s latest figures, for the quarter ended September 2003, there was a 30% jump in GPRS customers on the previous quarter ending June.
EMC senior research analyst Kester Mann said the growth is partly down to heavily marketed GPRS-branded services such as Vodafone Live! and T-Mobile’s ‘t-zones’.
EMC says Europe currently accounts for 16% of the world’s mobile data customers, with the US holding 6% of the total - many of whom are users of the CDMA2000 standard. But the lion’s share is held by the Asia Pacific region which has 77% of the world’s mobile data users, with NTT DoCoMo’s i-mode service driving continued customer growth.
Over 100m mobile data subscribers are based in Japan and Korea alone, the equivalent of almost 8% of the world’s 1.29bn cellular subscribers.
While the number of GPRS users is clearly increasing, it is difficult to estimate the growth of 2.G mobile data revenues for the operators, as companies like Vodafone aggregate revenues from WAP traffic over traditional GSM networks and burgeoning SMS services, with those from GPRS data services.
This article was part of Computer Weekly's enterprise mobile business channel, sponsored by Nokia