Next Gen Telecom

Global Wireless Data Market Update-2008

Here I am writing an Executive Summary of Global Wireless Data Market in year 2008.

  • Global Wireless market continued to grow rapidly especially in India & China where carriers are adding (together)more than 20M subscribers  every month.
  • During Q1-09 India cross subscriber mark of 400M while China crossed 650M.
  • Globally now, more than 60{af589cdba9d77786c8c861317dbad60bba1e2ebbf56e2ffab874a1b59fde9ce3} people hold mobile connection.
  • Overall global mobile revenues (including equipment) for the year reached the 1 Trillion dollar landmark in 2008, with over $830 billion attributed to services revenues. Data revenues now account for over 20{af589cdba9d77786c8c861317dbad60bba1e2ebbf56e2ffab874a1b59fde9ce3} of the global service revenues.
  • For some operators data revenues are contributing close to 40{af589cdba9d77786c8c861317dbad60bba1e2ebbf56e2ffab874a1b59fde9ce3} of overall revenues, but still increase in data ARPU isn’t offsetting the drop in voice ARPU.
  • From SMS, Mobile advertising, Social networking, Commerce, Mobile Wallet etc have added revenues in 2008.

Service Revenue:

  • US extended its lead over Japan as the most valuable mobile data market in service revenue with US adding $34B vs. $29B for Japan in 2008. China with $15.8B was ranked number 3.
  • The top 10 nations by service revenues are: US, China, Japan, UK, France, Italy, India, Germany, Spain, and Russia.
  • The top 10 nations by data service revenues are: US, Japan, China, UK, Italy, Germany, France, Spain, Australia, and Korea (India is missing!)
  • China reported approximately $16B in data revenues for 2008 and the percentage contribution is around 27{af589cdba9d77786c8c861317dbad60bba1e2ebbf56e2ffab874a1b59fde9ce3}, data ARPU is around $2. For India, data ARPU continues to stay around $0.50 as most of the new adds are voice only subscribers and there is continued price pressure in the market.


  • Most of the major operators around the world have double digit percentage contribution to their overall ARPU from data services. Operators like DoCoMo, and Softbank are over 42{af589cdba9d77786c8c861317dbad60bba1e2ebbf56e2ffab874a1b59fde9ce3}. KDDI, 3 Australia, 3 Italy, 3 UK, O2 UK, Singtel, and 3 Sweden exceeded 30{af589cdba9d77786c8c861317dbad60bba1e2ebbf56e2ffab874a1b59fde9ce3}.


Rank By Subs By Data Revenue By Service Revenue
1 China US US
2 India Japan China
3 US China Japan
4 Russia UK UK
5 Brazil Italy France
6 Indonesia Germany Italy
7 Japan France India
8 Germany Spain Germany
9 Italy Australia Spain
10 Pakistan Korea Russia



  • China and India continued their red-hot growth throughout 2008. Combined, they added 212.8M new subscriptions with India edging China by 15{af589cdba9d77786c8c861317dbad60bba1e2ebbf56e2ffab874a1b59fde9ce3} for the first time in yearly net-adds.
  • In March, India edged past the US to become the number two wireless market (by subscriptions) in the world. In the last two years alone it has added almost 175M new subscriptions (in comparison China added 169M and the US market added 39M). For the past 7 months, India has been displaying Phelpsesque like flair in setting and beating its world record for 6 times, twice exceeding 15M/month net-add. For the last 7 months, the market has been exceeding 10M net-adds/month with Mar 09 being at a whopping 15.6M making it a record for monthly net-adds in a given country at anytime in the history of the industry or any industry for that matter (breaking its previous record set in Jan09).
  • The top 10 nations by subscriptions are: China, India, US, Russia, Brazil, Indonesia, Japan, Germany, Japan, and Pakistan.




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Tags : Wireless Data Market