The US wireless data market saw more than $5 billion in service revenues in a quarter for the first time this year, according to analyst Chetan Sharma. Revenues grew to $5.5 billion for the first quarter of 2007, a 12 percent jump sequentially and a 68 percent jump year-on-year. That’s a pretty significant growth, emphasized by the fact that the data revenues for the whole of 2004 were $4.6 billion. It also seems the rise in data ARPU is beginning to offset the decline in voice ARPU: “While voice ARPU declined 6 percent, data ARPU rose 46 percent. The average ARPU in the US stands at $8.34 or almost 16 percent of the service revenues.” Sharma predicts that by the end of the year US carriers will bring in around $11 in data ARPU, or 20 percent of service revenues.
–The strongest growth in data revenue was experience by Verizon, which saw an 83 percent jump year-on-year to $1.6 billion.
–Sprint still leads in absolute data ARPU numbers with $9.25, ahead of Verizon at $8.70, AT&T at $7.88, and T-Mobile at $7.50 in data ARPU for the first quarter. Sharma predicts that by the third quarter of this year Verizon will have the largest data ARPU.
–The top three carriers gained more than $1 billion in data revenue in the quarter: AT&T had $1.6 billion while Verizon had $1.5 billion. Apart from Sprint they all saw double-digit percentage growth.
–Verizon indicated over 100 million in application downloads, an increase of 36 percent sequentially. The revenue contribution from non-SMS apps is close to 60 percent, and even with many of the application below 25 percent penetration, these trends bode well for the US mobile data industry and the stability of ARPU in general.