Global mobile TV subscribers set to reach 130 million by 2011, research predicts

The rapid decline of voice revenues is pushing mobile communications providers to offer video and other multimedia services.

More mobile communications providers are offering premium multimedia content to compensate for declining voice revenues from subscribers, a report recently released by market research firm iSuppli has found.

In the report, titled “Music, Gaming and Video Power Up as Voice ARPU Falls,” iSuppli found that voice Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) in 2006 fell by an average of 5 percent for the 13 global wireless carriers profiled by iSuppli’s Mobile Multimedia service. These carriers collectively represent more than 1 billion subscribers worldwide. iSuppli is predicting that further voice ARPU declines will occur in 2007 and beyond. Because of this, these carriers are turning to video, music, gaming and other data services to offset their losses.

The fact that so many wireless operators are now offering content in addition to their traditional communications services has boosted the mobile premium multimedia content market, which consists of video, audio and games delivered via carriers’ wireless networks to paying subscribers. The global premium mobile content market revenue rose to $16.4 billion in 2006, up 22 percent from $13.4 billion in 2005, according to iSuppli.

While iSuppli found music to be the dominant category within this market in 2006, mobile video achieved rapid growth — though starting from a small base. Global mobile TV subscribers are set to reach 130 million by 2011, rising from 3.2 million in 2006, according to iSuppli predictions.

Total mobile video revenue will expand to $17.6 billion by 2011. This growth will make the mobile video market as large as the mobile music area for the first time. The mobile video segment includes streaming and download revenue, as well as mobile television.

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