Verizon Leads the $12 billion Mobile Data Services Market

More than 229 million U.S. wireless subscribers are spending an average of $6.00 per month on data services, contributing a total of $4.1 billion in revenue for 3Q06 alone, according to the latest IDC research.  Ringtone sales set to reach 1 billion by 2010.

Most Popular wireless data services:

  • Text messaging is the most popular with nearly 50% of the data revenue coming from it
  • business- and consumer-oriented services and content constituted is about 40%
  • content and simple application downloads came to about 12%. 

Top Service Providers:

Of the top ten wireless carriers, IDC research indicates that Verizon is the new leader at $7.27 spent per-customer on data services in 3Q06, surpassing Sprint Nextel, the long-time leader in this metric at $7.15. 

Verizon Wireless is the overall leader in data services in terms of total wireless data revenue, data percentage of ARPU, and data spending.

Ringtone Downloads: 

  • Ringtones is the most popular type of content bought and downloaded onto mobile handsets, with about 20% of U.S. subscribers currently purchasing at least one ringtone every quarter.  
  • IDC predicts that the total volume of ringtone sales in the U.S. market will approach the 1 billion mark by 2010, up from about 430 million this year 
  • Ringtone revenue will increase at a CAGR of roughly 20% between 2005 and 2010 and top well over $1.25 billion by the end of the forecast period. 

This IDC study, U.S. Wireless Carrier Data Services 3Q06-3Q07 Vendor Analysis: QView Summary and Analysis presents a competitive analysis and summary of the data services and content types offered by the top 10 wireless carriers as well as an aggregated view of the rest of the market for 3Q06 through 3Q07. Standard industry operating metrics — including subscriber/customer totals, net additions, ARPU, churn, capital expenditures, service revenue, and minutes of use — for the operations of U.S. carriers are used as a framework to support IDC's evaluations and assessments of the current state of the wireless data services market. 

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