Japan is leading the way with its advanced mobile broadband network and high adoption of gadgets, becoming the first to see data revenue surpass voice revenue. Globally, this will become a trend by 2018, says GSM Association (GSMA).
In a statement Monday, the industry body said Japan last year became the first country where data revenue surpassed voice revenue at US$48 billion and US$46.5 billion, respectively.
Japan was ahead of the curve because of the availability of advanced mobile broadband networks and higher adoption of the latest smartphones, tablets and connected devices in the market, said GSMA.
Globally, it said data revenues will surpass voice revenues for mobile operators by 2018, reaching US$559 billion and US$547 billion, respectively.
However, some countries will achieve this milestone earlier than others. Data revenue in Argentina is expected to overtake voice this year, ahead of the United States and United Kingdom which are expected to see a similar trend in 2014.
Data revenue in Argentina is expected to reach US$5.22 billion while voice will hit US$5.16 billion in 2013. For the U.S., data revenue will hit US$123.9 billion while voice will reach US$105.8 billion in 2014. In the U.K., data revenue will reach US$14.2 billion while voice revenue will hit US$13.9 billion in 2014.