European wireless operators are increasingly downcast about when revenues from data will
exceed those from voice, according to a new survey released Thursday by The Arc Group.
However, equipment vendors and application vendors are more optimistic.
The company’s latest annual GSM Industry Survey found that 31 percent of operators believe
that revenue from wireless data services won’t exceed those of voice services for at least five
years. Another 11 percent believe it will never happen.
By contrast, 46 percent of equipment vendors expect data to surpass voice in two to four years
time. Fully half of application developers believe data will surpass voice in between one and
Last year, operators were far more optimistic, saying that, on average, data will surpass voice in
2.75 years. The average in the newest survey was 4.4 years.
While equipment vendors were more optimistic than operators, they were less optimistic than
they were last year. This year, equipment vendors predicted an average of 3.8 years before
data wins out compared to two years in the previous survey.
In other findings, the study reported that 59 percent of European operators said they expect to launch consumer GPRS
data services in the first half of 2001 with an additional 36 percent expecting launch in the second half of the year.