Revenue for mobile data services in the U.S. in 2012 exceeded those for mobile voice services, according to The Telecommunications Industry Association's (TIA's) newly released 2013 ICT Market Review & Forecast (MR&F). The report is compiled annually by TIA and provides a global industry overview along with chapters that offer a deep-dive into specific industry segments.
Some key findings:
- In 2012, for the first time in the history of U.S. mobile telecommunications, more money was spent on mobile data services ($94.8 billion) than on mobile voice services ($92.4 billion). TIA predicts this trend will accelerate in the years ahead – with mobile data spend hitting $118.6 billion in 2013 (versus $86.4 billion for voice) and $184 billion by 2016 (versus $70.1 billion for voice).
- Additionally, U.S. wireless penetration jumped over 100 percent in 2012 – rising to 102.5 percent for the year. TIA predicts that wireless carriers will add 40.3 million subscribers over the next four years, for a penetration of 111.3 percent in 2016.
- In 2012, U.S. wireline spending was $39.1 billion, compared with $27 billion for wireless infrastructure. By 2016, wireline spending is expected to climb to $44.4 billion, while wireless will reach $38.4 billion.
- Meanwhile, overall spending on both wireless and wireline infrastructure will total $313 billion over the next four years (2013-2016) according to TIA estimates – an increase of 34 percent over the previous four years (2009-2012).
- The overall telecommunications industry experienced 7 percent worldwide growth in 2012, down 3 percent from 2011. While growth actually accelerated in the U.S. (from 5.9 percent in 2011 to 6.2 percent in 2012), international markets saw a declining growth (11.3 percent versus 7.2 percent).
- TIA sees this trend continuing, with the overall industry growth rate in the U.S. surpassing growth in international markets in 2014. The MR&F predicts U.S. growth rates of 7.1 percent in 2013 and 6.8 percent in 2014, while international markets will see rates of 7.9 and 6.5 percent, respectively.
“The 2013 MR&F reveals, in dramatic fashion, that the ICT industry is squarely in the middle of an historic transition,” said TIA president Grant Seiffert. “Wireless had a breakthrough year in 2012, with Americans spending more on mobile data than on voice services and with wireless subscriptions now outpacing the number of U.S. adults. In the years ahead, wireless infrastructure investments will continue surging in order to meet the heavy demand for mobile data. At the same time, specialized services will put even more steam into the ICT market. This expansion will lead to another unprecedented shift – in which telecom spending grows faster in the U.S. than in international markets.”