Announcing its first-quarter results for 2002, Vodafone said it aimed to make 25% of its sales from mobile data by 2005. The results showed growing revenue from text messaging as part of this target. But the company reported poor sales from Internet-related mobile services.
Revenue from mobile data for the 12 months up to June grew 12.6%, but this figure included income from SMS (simple messaging service), the hugely popular messaging service for the mobile operators. But revenue from purely Internet-related data using WAP and GPRS technology grew only 1.1%.
While the figures showed the company still had some way to go, a Vodafone spokeswoman said, "The company was still on course to deliver 3G to 80% of the UK by 2007."
The company is pinning its hopes on services such as multimedia messaging over the existing GPRS network to drive demand for next-generation mobile data services.
The results reflect user's perception of having high-speed Internet access from mobile phones. A recent survey from ICM Research found that 82% of existing mobile phone users are not interested in GPRS, the stepping-stone to 3G, the next generation of mobile networking geared towards mobile data access.